War On Terror: At Home with the Terror Suspects

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Dispatches: War On Terror - At Home with the Terror SuspectsHaving spent years in Belmarsh prison, the detainees now live under partial house arrest on Britain's streets. Officially known by letters of the alphabet; Detainee 'A', Detainee 'AR' etc, little is known of their day-to-day existence. Dispatches has gained exclusive access to some of these detainees and, for the first time, exposes the paradoxes at the heart of this security policy which restricts the activities of people who have never been convicted of terrorist offences.

The investigation questions the effectiveness of the orders in protecting the public from terrorist attacks. The detainees live under stringent rules that prohibit the possession of mobile phones or accessing the internet. But the regulations allow them to mix freely with other worshipers at their mosques or talk to anyone they meet without prior arrangement. Despite a dossier of restrictions one detainee is allowed to between three tube stations, a bus garage and a shopping center. "If I wanted to, it would be easy for me to bomb or commit an act of terrorism", he says.

Dispatches reveals the impact the control orders have on these individuals whose restrictions bypass the fundamental rights of due process enshrined in British law - that no-one should be deprived of liberty without a fair and adequate trial. In the film the detainees describe how they suffer from psychological problems and insomnia, with one detainee at the point of considering returning to his mother country, despite the torture that likely awaits him.

Dispatches also investigates the sourcing of evidence used to place the detainees under control orders. Reporter Phil Rees uncovers grave concerns about the methods used and the accuracy and validity of such evidence. (Excerpt from channel4.com)

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Sam

    This is ridiculous ! I wouldn't be suprised if the poor guys eventually do become terrorists out of total frustration !

  • Jordan

    The way i see it is dont get involved with terrorist organizations and you wont be targeted and put on house arrest its sad that it happens and i feel sorry for them but they all did something like give objects or hand out leaflets and ill rather one guy locked up like this than hundreds of families destroyed by a stupid terrorist act

  • Sam

    Jordan what a pathetic comment - you only say that because you cannot relate to the people who are suffering because of your own position of privilege. Locking people up because of what they 'might' do is wrong end of. Well how about we lock up all men (including all your male relatives) because then we can guarantee women won't get raped. How does that sound? These men have done nothing wrong! 'Handing out leaflets' is not a crime last time I checked.

  • Abjective

    I can see why the Government and the Home Office are strict. If these strict conditions save potentially thousands of lives from a terrrorist(s) attack(s) then its a good thing.

    The problem that the justice, legal system does not protect innocent people. I mean locked up for several years without trials and no credible evidence produced before the defendant is a bit like the American system. On top of that they are under strict house arrests or house curfews with no limits to their detentions.

    In Meludas (AA) case, he was found not guilty for ricin plot, but after 7/7 attacks he was sent to prison. Even though he entererd UK illegally, Home Office should of knew about him and dealt with his immigration issue from the begining.

    Following The American footsteps on the judiciary system is a wrong move. Britain needs to be independant and be able to make own decisions. The American way just breeds more violence. After all they are just a bunch of cowboys, but now with modern technology. Which makes them more dangerous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001825191848 James del Valle

    They should be glad they are not imprisoned, if anyone is suspected of being a terrorist in an Arab country they would be tortured. If they don't want to be given this freedom they have been privileged with to enable them to stay out of prison and to stay in the UK then they can leave.

  • GoughLewis

    Yeah, send them to Abu Ghraib for torture and prisoner abuse.

  • hellosnackbar

    It's beyond reason that the British authorities are persecuting these people without evidence !
    There are more than 2000 Musloid terror suspects in the UK.
    They all should be subject o a metaphorical steel toe capped boot.

  • yami

    "They should be glad they are not imprisoned" ....Glad that they aren't imprisoned for something they didn't do? If you're friends with a drug dealer but do nothing wrong, you don't get locked up for selling drugs. I'm sure just about everyone knows somebody who has/is doing something illegal (whether tax evasion, drugs, weapons, petty thefts, etc.) even if they don't know it. Locking you up because there's a slight chance you might get into doing the same things is not what freedom is. "If they don't want this freedom . . . then they can leave." The freedom to be falsely accused and put on house arrest for bogus crimes? Many of them come from war-torn, shattered third world countries and have nowhere to go anyways. The terrorists win when you start accepting the reduction of your freedoms because "it's safer".