14:31, October 27 276 0 theguardian.com

2017-10-27 14:31:02
Schedule 7 brings back bad Irish memories of 1970s miscarriages of justice

Owen Jones writes in sobering detail about his sister being detained at Edinburgh airport under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (Opinion, 26 October). He suggests that current anti-terrorism legislation could easily lead to “innocent Britons from minority backgrounds … having their civil rights taken away from them”.

It reminds me very much of the 1970s and the infamous miscarriages of justice suffered by Irish people living in Britain. Then, sweeping powers were granted to the police and security services, and civil rights were occasionally suspended, against the background of an intense IRA bombing campaign in Northern Ireland and mainland Britain. Today, legislation like schedule 7 has been introduced in an attempt to thwart terrorist attacks such as at London’s Borough Market and the Manchester concert.

In years to come, I sincerely hope we are not left to regret the mistreatment and false, lengthy imprisonment of innocent people on terror charges – and to rue the enduring damage this will do to the reputation of British justice around the world. I am not optimistic that my hopes will be vindicated.

Joe McCarthy


Owen Jones’s sister was in effect fined the cost of her flight to Berlin despite having committed no offence. Police Scotland were fully aware that the consequence of their detention would in effect be a financial penalty without any legal authority, and so it may be open to her to seek redress in court.

John Hurdley


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