Thursday, 21 May 2009

The true meaning of suspect

The Independent has an astonishing story detailing how MI5 blackmails British muslims into becoming informers:
Five Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants.

The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas.

Apart from the outrageous and probably counterproductive treatment of citizens by the state, the story raises more quesions about the phrases "terrorist suspect" or "suspected terrorist" and about the use of extended detention.

If, as the men claim, people are treated as terrorist suspects as a punishment for not co-operating, it implies that some people are not genuinely suspected. Neither the terms nor the consequent treatment are justified.

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