The treatment of Mahmoud Abu Rideh and others over the past eight years is an indictment of the British justice system. Indeed it is questionable whether a system that allows individuals to be held indefinitely, not knowing of what they are accused, warrants carrying the label justice at all. The High Court has now agreed that Mr Abu Rideh can leave this country to rejoin his family who have been hounded out by the state. What has happened to due process here? A combination of weak willed politicians and consciousless bureaucrats have used the immigration system to hold a number of individuals for years on end without ever telling them of what they are accused. While Mr Abu Rideh and family have stepped off the conveyor belt of detention without trial on the basis of secret evidence there are others about to join. The 10 Pakistani students arrested in April, released and served with deportation orders on the basis of their being a risk to national security now face the same process. They have been held in prison since April and must now go before the Special Immigrations Appeal Commission to decide their fate. The Government appears to be looking for new policy initiatives, so why not restore habeus corpus and remove the power of the state to detain people without trial on the basis of secret evidence? There would be mass support for such a move. An Early Day Motion (1308) was put down by Labour MP Diane Abbott making just such a demand. So far 84 MPs have signed up from across the poltical system.
- Independent - 7/7/2009