UN Special Rapporteur publishes 2016 UK report

Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, has published his 2016 report in which he criticises numerous surveillance practices in the UK and their detrimental impact on protest and free assembly.

In his report Mr Kiai recommends amendment to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (‘IPA’) to ensure compliance with international human rights norms. He also offers support to the victims of undercover policing and the ongoing Public Inquiry. He further criticises the classification of peaceful activists as “domestic extremists” and recommends the removal of peaceful protestors, political activists and other non-violent activists from the National Domestic Extremism Database.

Shamik Dutta of Bhatt Murphy is instructed in three related cases representing Liberty in its challenge to the IPA 2016; the victims of undercover policing; and John Catt in his application to the European Court of Human Rights challenging the operation of the Domestic Extremism Database.

Shamik Dutta said: “The UN Special Rapporteur’s international perspective provides a timely reminder that hard won rights should never be sacrificed at the altar of unfettered surveillance”.

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