As part of a research project challenging the image of Muslims being targeted by anti-terror laws, Ayesha Kazmi is looking into the many instances where non-Muslims are also targeted. The first outcome of this project is a series of interviews about counter-terrorism stop and search powers published by the human organisation Cageprisoners.
The first interview, published last April, was with Pennie Quinton:
In 2003, Kevin Gillan, a student at the time, attended a protest outside the Excel centre. Pennie Quinton, a photographer and journalist, was present at the same event, covering the protest as a member of the press. Both were stopped and searched by police.
After going through an exhaustive process of taking their case to domestic courts, and consistently losing their case, Pennie and Kevin finally took their case to the European Court of Human Rights – where they won and Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 was declared illegal.
The second interview, just published, is an edited version of a conversation Ayesha and I had a few weeks ago:
3 weeks after the 7th July bombings, David Mery found himself caught in bewildering circumstances. With the nation on high alert for potential terrorism related plots, David found himself unwittingly subject to suspicion of terrorism. On 28 July, 2005, David was stopped and searched under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act by London police and subsequently arrested on his way to meet his wife after work.
It took 4 years for the Metropolitan Police to issue an apology to David for the wrongful stop, search and arrest.