Control order detainees are not afforded any measure of respite from new regime

Posted by admin on Jan 26th, 2011

Cageprisoners Press Release (UK), 26 January 2011

The Government’s response to the control order regime, announced today, has utterly failed in seeking to balance due process for detainees against existent security concerns. The proposals that have been mooted fail to deal with the use of secret evidence and totally ignore the plight of those who continue to be detained under immigration bail orders. Unlike the conditions the men have been subjected to, the key point of concern for all has been the secret evidence that has been used against them.The retention of this fundamental assault on the rule of law will be retained, combined with the use of handpicked barristers (known as special advocates) is now polluting the British legal system to the extent that a two-tier criminal justice system has been constructed. Any individual identified as a suspect is faced with the impossible task of challenging the state.

Much has been written and leaked about those who were caught up in the Control Order machinery. From Government spokespeople to selective quotes from judicial proceedings with the purpose of giving the impression that the individuals were so dangerous that action had to be taken. However, these assessments are based on evidence that has never been tested and in many cases supplied by regimes with a notorious history of human rights abuses.

Detainee BH, a British control order detainee of Somali origin, spoke to Cageprisoners prior to his detention under a control order. According to Asim Qureshi,

“BH came to my home in order to seek advice about how he could stop the security agencies harassing his friends. He complained that they were continually asking others about him and watching him closely. He actually broke down crying asking why they wanted to harass him, he kept on saying that he had done nothing wrong and just wanted to live his life.”

The proposed changes in the regime including some significant exceptions such as banning overnight curfews and banning locations difficult to watch do not deal with the inherent injustice of the system. A more complete analysis of the removal of meaningful due process was highlighted in the Cageprisoners report, Detention Immorality. The government already lost its case for control orders in the High Court, Court of Appeal and was told by the House of Lords that control orders ‘breach human rights’ Progress cannot be achieved by simply chipping away at what is wrong, we need to return to what is right.

Cageprisoners calls on the government to rethink its proposals and take into account that the main injustice against these men is the way in which secret evidence is presented in their cases. Although the desire to end control orders is welcome, merely tinkering with the worst aspects from a PR perspective in no way deals with the fundamental flaw in the concept which itself is against the tradition of the rule of law.

Cageprisoners spokesmen will be available for comment on the report and cases.


Cageprisoners is a human rights NGO that exists to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.

Give a voice to the voiceless.

Cageprisoners Ltd.
27 Old Gloucester Street

Telephone:        (44) 203 167 4416
Email:               asim.q at

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