Odious freedom for UK terror suspects

Nine terror suspects freed from prison under a new British anti-terrorism law are living under such harsh control orders that one has been readmitted to a mental hospital.

    Attorney Peirce says the men are suffering depression

    Gareth Peirce, their lawyer on Friday said the restrictive and confusing restrictions forced on them have prompted several others to seek psychiatric treatment.

    "These men who came to England as asylum seekers from repressive countries such as Algeria and Tunisia were held in high-security prisons for three years, during which time they were never formally charged, or even told what they are accused of," Peirce said.

    "Now, each individual has had control orders imposed that brand him, forever, as an individual involved in terrorism-related activity. He can never disprove that label, or stop it being imposed by association on his family and friends," she said.

    Ten foreign suspects, including a preacher accused of links to al-Qaida were released last week from high-security detention in Britain.

    New legislation

    The anti-terror law, recently approved after a bitter debate in Parliament, allows terrorist suspects to be electronically tagged and required to live under 7pm to 7am curfews in private homes where they are denied the use of the telephone or the Internet and must apply to the government to talk to outsiders.

    Fierce debate over amendments
    to the terror law have ensued

    Peirce said the 10 men were released under such conditions that one was left without food temporarily and another was afraid to take out the trash.

    Peirce said one freed suspect was told that his elderly mother could not visit him in his new home because her name was not on the government's list of acceptable visitors. Another suspect was told his two children could not stop by his apartment.

    The lawyer said the 10 suspects' long imprisonment and confusion over the control orders had left three of them with serious mental illness.

    She said several other freed suspects were being treated for depression.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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