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Home Office reports less than half of UK terror detainees charged

[JURIST] Less than half of terrorism suspects arrested in the United Kingdom after September 11, 2001 under the Terrorism Act 2000 [text] were ever charged with any crime, according to figures [report] released Monday by the UK Home Office [official website]. Over 1,126 people were arrested between the Sept. 11 attacks and the end of 2006, but only 221 were charged with terrorism-related offenses. Of those, 40 have been convicted, but 98 are still awaiting trial. Another 652 were released without being charged.

Although the Home Office did not include any statistics about race or religion, critics contend that UK anti-terrorism laws [HO materials] unfairly target Muslims and those of middle-eastern descent. The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) [advocacy website] said that the terror regulations are far too broad [press release], so that normally innocuous activities, such as wearing buttons supporting organizations from North Ireland, were now being treated as terrorism convictions. IHRC also expressed concern at reports of alleged police brutality in enforcing anti-terrorism measures. Reuters has more.

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