Skip to main content

Secret Prisoners - the campaign continues

There have been two stories related to secret imprisonment reported today. One by PA has been published in a number of outlets including This one. The other was in the Daily Mail.

The cases have a number of common features. Someone is imprisoned "for their own good". There are all sorts of assessments as to their capacity. In the end they have run away and are not now in the English and Welsh jurisdiction.

In the Kathy Danby case (which relates to her granddaughter) Kathy was imprisoned for meeting her. The judge at the time said Granny (aged in her 70s) had to be imprisoned because when she met her granddaughter afterwards the granddaughter was upset and tried to run away. From a scientific perspective it is a fact that the granddaughter ran away. However, she continued running away even though she had not met her grandmother for 2 1/2 years. I would argue, therefore, that the evidence is that she runs away because she is not happy having her liberty constrained by the state.

This is actually a common problem with care proceedings of all sorts. Children are upset when they stop seeing their relatives. Hence contact is stopped. This used to happen with hospital visiting, but the issue was studied and it was found that the psychological trauma caused by stopping contact was in fact much greater than the superficial upset cased by breaks in contact. Hence parents were encouraged to visit children in hospital and potentially stay overnight. The Danish care system recognises this as well. However, the English care system takes a very different attitude. I have seen evidence to substantiate the argument that the approach in England is wrong. I have seen no evidence to substantiate the argument that it is right.

In the second case the courts relied on an international treaty that had not been ratified either by Canada or Zimbawe to imprison a 15 year old (now 16 year old) boy who had no right to remain in the country beyond a visit. Because he had no valid immigration status he could not be educated. Unsurprisingly he tried to escape this, but was recaptured on a number of occasions until he did a Julian Assange and went to live in the Zimbabwean Embassy. He then escaped from there to Zimbabwe.

It sounds absurd. However, it did happen.

In both cases reporting restrictions act to prevent the prisoner from speaking out and challenging the claims of the state against them. Where is the accountability in this?

It should be remembered that the courts rely on expert "opinion". This is the opinion of employees of the local authority and other people who depend on the la for their income. This does not strike me as "independent" expert opinion.

In the second case I have seen reports on the 16 year old from Zimbabwe. These show very little in common with the assertions from the English experts that were used to justify imprisoning the person concerned for about a year.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Service launched to reduce the pain of calling a call centre.

Click here to try the beta test call entre phoning service"John Hemming, who has created an internet Startup called Cirrostratus since he ceased being an MP, is launching a free online service to make life easier for people phoning call centres.   The service is provided by Cirrostratus, but the SIP backbone is provided by the multi-award winning business VoIP solution, Soho66." John said, "Many people find phoning call centres a real pain.  Our service is aiming to make things a lot easier.   One click on alink or the bookmarks list and our server will phone up the call centre and get through all the menus.  This is a lot faster than when people have to phone up and is less irritating." "Additionally the system uses WebRtc and the internet to make the call. This means that people don't find their normal phone system being blocked whilst they hang on the line waiting to speak to a human being." Marketing Manager from Soho66, David McManus, said: &q…

A grassroots uprising against terrorism

Original Date 26th May 2017

One thing I used to do when I was the Member of Parliament for Yardley was to call together meetings of all of the religious organisations in Yardley as a Yardley multi-faith group.  In many ways it is the creation of informal links between people that makes communication easier even if there is no formal decision making power.

Obviously this is something I would intend to do again if the people of Yardley ask me to take on the responsibility of representing them in parliament.

It highlights the sort of thing that politicians can do which arises from a leadership role within communities rather than any constitutional position.

I have already written in an earlier blog post about the principles of resolving conflict.  It can be summarised as "murdering innocents is wrong".

A number of local mosques have issued statements following the atrocity in Manchester and I think it is worth quoting from parts of them.

One said that the mosque "Unequivoc…

Lib Dems would give the West Midlands police force an extra £16,220,000 a year

Liberal Democrats have announced they would boost investment in police forces by £300m a year. This is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who have overseen devastating cuts to community policing. Theresa May as Home Secretary and now Prime Minister has cut policing budgets by over £2bn, eroding the very fabric of community policing.

Under the Liberal Democrats the West Midlands would see a funding increase of £16,220,000 a year. This could be used to restore a visible policing presence in the community and ensure the police have the training and tools to deal with the changing nature of crime.

Liberal Democrat John Hemming commented:“This investment in our police is absolutely vital. Under Theresa May – first as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister, our police have had to deal with severe cuts. These are now cutting into the bone.“Our police work tirelessly to keep us safe and this Government has completely betrayed them.“Only the Liberal Democrats have a credible pl…