Theresa May: We will change human rights laws to crack down on terrorism

May: I’ll rip up human rights laws that impede new terror legislation

Article in The Guardian
7 June, 2017

For politicians, it is too often a zero-sum game, “my way or the highway”. In the present nationalist populist atmosphere, politicians will claim that undesired foreigners should not be covered by international human rights law or by constitutional guarantees. When most of the terrorism is “homegrown”, they still need to “externalise” it and, in an echo of the Cold War, place the responsibility on “foreign agents”. Moreover, they invoke their conception of a “crisis” to justify trampling the rights of foreigners, forgetting that the human rights regime was created by the generation that survived WWII and that human rights safeguards were thus put in place to remind States of their obligations, not only in times of peace, but more so especially in times of crises or war. Who can seriously argue that our present “migration crisis” is of the magnitude of WWII?

“The prime minister said she was looking at how to make it easier to deport foreign terror suspects and how to increase controls on extremists where it is thought they present a threat but there is not enough evidence to prosecute them…

She said: “But I can tell you a few of the things I mean by that: I mean longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offences. I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terror suspects to their own countries.

“And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they present a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.

“And if human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change those laws so we can do it.”

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