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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 10:05 GMT
Terror laws come under spotlight
Troops in Heathrow
The army took part in an anti-terrorist operation at Heathrow
An influential group of MPs and peers is to give its verdict on anti-terror laws introduced after 11 September.

The cross-party committee of Privy Councillors has presented David Blunkett with a report on the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.

The anti-terror legislation for the UK has already been heavily criticised by Amnesty International.

But the Home Office says the laws are about national security and ensuring the safety of the public.

Airport security

The 2001 act includes measures relating to the detention of suspected international terrorists, inciting religious hatred or violence, weapons of mass destruction and terrorist finance and property.

It also covers nuclear and airport security, extensions of police powers and retention of communications data.

Mr Blunkett set up the cross-party committee in April 2002 to report by this month on how the legislation is working.

He will lay the report before Parliament on Thursday, 18 December - the day MPs go on their Christmas holidays.

Justice concerns

The group is set to detail its findings at a press conference in Westminster the same day.

Amnesty International, whose report Justice Perverted looked into the Act, claims the laws are creating a "Guantanamo Bay in our own back yard".

The human rights group says foreign nationals are being denied the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

It says the UK has created a different justice system for foreigners, who are held indefinitely without charge, and is not meeting international standards.

The BBC's Laura Trevelyan reports
"Senior parliamentarians want indefinite detention to end as a matter of urgency"


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