On 6 December 2005, a small group of campaigners held a picket outside the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) to mark the start of bail hearings of some of the (many) foreign nationals, asylum seekers and refugees detained under anti-terror laws.
Bail applications were made on behalf at least five men, four Algerians and a Libyan, who had been detained, in October 2005, as the government debated new anti-terror laws in parliament. Some of the men detained, had been acquitted at the Old Bailey of involvement in the so called ‘ricin’ trial, earlier this year.
The hearings were just the start of the lengthy process of applying for bail, with campaigners demanding the end of deportations to countries known to practise torture and an immediate release or fair jury trial of all affected prisoners.
Today’s House of Lords judgement, in which seven Law Lords ruled that evidence obtained by torture cannot be used against terrorist suspects in Britain, will bring some hope to those detained without trial and those campaigning on their behalf.