Leo McKinstry needs to reconsider his defence of terrorist tactics : letter to Express 22/8/13

I can’t agree with Leo McKinstry, vis-a-vis this man, Miranda.
This wasn’t a known terrorist, whose shoes looked suspicious.
He wasn’t someone, who had been in hiding, evading the Police and now making a dash for it.
He wasn’t someone, who they might rightly suspect of bringing subversive material in the country, or attempting to smuggle secret material out of the country.
He was kept for nine hours, without relevant questioning, searching, or suspicion.
He was kept the maximum time, which the Terrorist Act allowed, merely to annoy and terrorise an innocent traveller.
And that last statement is the key to the problem.
Just because you may not like someone, or agree with their views, that does not mean you can deny their innocence.
And just because these “rough men” are meant to be protecting us, doesn’t excuse them being terrorists.
Terrorists is truly what they were.
“Rough men” do not have to brandish guns, wear big bushy beards, or sport swastika’s to terrorise you.
It’s enough that they are “rough men”, acting with the full backing of the Law and fully knowing that they have no justification, for holding you, that would be supported by a civil magistrate.
Leo McKinstry needs to think on, as a journalist, how he would feel, in similar circumstances, held in, for example, a Syrian airport.
I understand why it is necessary to hand Security services such powers, without having to roust a Civil Authority to gain a warrant, but these things can’t be left to go unchecked.
If the time element is important, then there should still be a civil check on such power’s, by requiring a justification after the detention. If these “rough men” knew that they’d have to provide “just cause”, with possible censure, then they would be more circumspect and less likely to terrorise people, whom they didn’t like.

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