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Liberty launches High Court Action to protect right to protest

Liberty press release | 09.09.2003 14:32 | DSEi 2003 | Anti-militarism | Repression | London

Press release from Liberty Human Rights watch

Liberty is seeking a judicial review of the decision by the Metropolitan Police to use anti-terrorist legislation against protesters currently picketing the arms fair in London’s docklands.

It has instructed Owen Davies QC to seek a ruling that the action is unlawful. It has also agreed to represent any protesters arrested under this legislation.

Liberty solicitor Mona Arshi said: The Home Secretary gave a clear undertaking to the House of Commons that section 44 notices would only be used where there is good reason to suspect terrorist activity. The people in docklands are legitimate demonstrators and it is quite shocking they are being treated as potential terrorists. We will do everything in our power to protect the right of every citizen to peacefully protest.

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09.09.2003 15:34

this is worth eight quid of anybody's money. i'm joining today.


Further Liberty Legal Advice about S44

09.09.2003 15:41

Section 44 searches - Liberty Advice


-The police can only give you a pat down, remove outer clothes (eg - jacket, hat) search your bags, and have you empty your pockets

- You do not have to give your name or address

- You do not have to explain why you are there

- You are not allowed to flee the search, but you are not required to be actively compliant. You are allowed to "go limp" as passive resistance during the search if you do not wish to comply.

- There is no permission to collect DNA data during the search

- You do not have to comply with any attempt to photograph or record you.

-Women can not be touched by male police during these searches.

-Make notes about the officers searching you - name, number, and police force.

- Note the time and the events preceding the search.

- Note the specific wording used by the police to explain their authority to search you.

-Ask police for the reason that they are searching you. Specifically, are they searching for terrorists or are they simply trying to deter, delay, or inconvenience you?


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and keep a copy of the search form

09.09.2003 16:54

Make sure to retain you copy of the search form. The police are supposed to give you a copy when the search is done and it's your proof that they searched you. It'll show under what power they conducted the search and is evidence that they are using Section 44.

At Fairford not everybody kept their search forms - although we did get a big collection together in the end - the lawyers could have done with even more!

and thanks to Liberty for taking this on... keep at it folks because our right to protest effectively is vital.

Inspector Dave
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