I'm clear: if human rights laws get in the way of tackling extremism and terrorism, we will change those laws to keep British people safe. pic.twitter.com/8EfUJYUDMK— Theresa May (@theresa_may) June 6, 2017
In the wake of three suspected terrorist attacks in less than three months in the United Kingdom, British Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a number of powerful statements, indicating stringent security measures.
However, following the recent tragedy in London that claimed seven innocent lives, May adopted a more radical tone by saying she was willing to tear up human rights if they got in the way of tackling terrorism.
“I mean longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offenses,” the British leader told reporters.
May explained other stringent measures would include easier deportation of foreign terror suspects to their own countries and restriction of the freedom and movements of terrorist suspects once there is enough evidence to know they pose a threat — but not enough to try them in court.
“And if human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change those laws so we can do it,” she added.
In the face of three attacks, the leader’s forceful response might seem appropriate. However, dismantling human rights to fight human rights abuses is certainly not a good counter-terrorism strategy — especially when multiple reports suggest British authorities could be guilty of neglecting multiple warnings about the attackers involved in the Manchester and London Bridge attacks.
British community incl Muslims tipped off authorities about London & Manchester perpetrators .@theresa_may's response? Take away our rights— Mustafa Qadri (@Mustafa_Qadri) June 7, 2017
Amnesty International also condemned the British leader’s comments:
May’s comments, which came just two days before the 2017 general election, were criticized by opposition politicians as an attempt to revive her “lackluster, flagging election campaign.”
“I can say that with this authority,” said Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, according to The Independent. “I was director of public prosecutions for five years. I worked very closely with the security and intelligence services and we prosecuted very, very serious criminals. And the Human Rights Act did not get in the way of what we were doing. This is a diversion.”