Britain’s ruling Labour party has made new concessions on its controversial anti-terrorism bill after it was twice rejected by the upper House of Lords.
The issue has become a thorn in prime minister Tony Blair’s side ahead of a general election expected in May.
One of the amendments means judges rather than politicians would issue the so-called “control orders” on suspects. “What we’re trying to do is bring back community policing to today’s world and to have a visible uniformed presence on the streets, and make sure that’s combined with the new leglislation on anti-social behaviour and crime,” said Blair. “Its helps take back control of the community for the law-abiding majority because it’s only ever a small minority of people that cause the trouble.”
At the heart of the controversy are 11 foreign suspects held in Britain without trial following emergency legislation introduced after the September 11th attacks on the United States. The legislation has now been ruled illegal and expires this weekend.
There was a protest outside parliament by human rights groups who condemn the practice as mental torture.