The UK coalition government will review the country's Human Rights Act [BBC backgrounder] after two Pakistani terror suspects successfully avoided deportation by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission [official website] due to concerns for their safety. The commission identified both Abid Naseer and Ahmed Faraz Khan as terrorism suspects but concluded that it was not possible for them to be deported to Pakistan, where terrorism suspects face torture or death.The Human Rights Act was created in 1988 to encompass the fundamental rights in the European Convention of Human Rights [text]. Policymakers hope that, by reviewing the act, they can develop a plan of action for ensuring deportees would be treated properly upon returning to their native countries. Since the act does not allow the two suspects to be detained without trial, the two men will most likely be subjected to control orders that would restrict their movement and require them to be under constant watch. Naseer and Khan were two of 10 Pakistani men captured last year in connection with a terrorism plot targeting Manchester and Liverpool.
The Human Rights Act has been a point of contention between liberal and conservative groups in the UK. In 2006, then-prime minister Tony Blair called for an amendment to the act to allow the government greater discretion to protect public safety, while conservative leaders called for the act to be repealed [JURIST reports]. Human Rights Watch [official website] urged the new UK government to continue its support of the act last week in addition to a request for the government to set up a judiciary inquiry [JURIST report] on torture [JURIST news archive] allegations. The rights group claimed that allegations of complicity in the torture of terrorism suspects have badly damaged the nation's reputation and that steps need to be taken to restore the nation's reputation as "a nation that respects human rights."