"Prevention of Terrorism Act"

Lambasted by Martyn in the Brotherhood’s video message as “too lame”, the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (Chapter 2) is described thus: “An Act to provide for the making against individuals involved in terrorism-related activity of orders imposing obligations on them for purposes connected with preventing or restricting their further involvement in such activity; to make provision about appeals and other proceedings relating to such orders; and for connected purposes”.

The Act came about in 2004 in response to the assertion of the Law Lords that the detention of nine foreign prisoners without trial under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 contravened European human rights laws.

The Act allows the Home Secretary to impose control orders on those suspected of terrorism, and to opt out of adhering to human rights laws. Critics claim that the orders are unjust and likely to lead to miscarriages of justice. For them, trial in a court of law is the best solution. Defenders of the Act claim that the right of British citizens to live their lives without fear of terrorist attacks takes precedence over the civil liberties of those suspected of terrorism.

Martyn may think the government’s Act “lame”, but in holding Padma captive on suspicion alone, the Brotherhood are following the tenets of said Act to the letter.