Monday, October 13, 2008

Sleepwalk - Say 'No' to 42 Days!

The video that I worked on for Amnesty International has been released to the world. And a mighty fine piece of filmmaking it is too.

"Protesters against the government's planned 42-day detention limit for terror suspects are to walk through Leeds in a "mass sleepwalk".

Amnesty International campaigners will march through the city on Monday night wearing dressing gowns and slippers, and clutching pillows and blankets.

The move symbolises the organisation's belief that the UK is "sleepwalking into an assault on our human rights".

A film about its campaign against the limit extension has also been made.

Ministers argue that the new maximum detention period - an extension from the current 28 days - is vital to allow the security services to deal with increasingly complex terror plots.

The proposal was passed by just nine votes after a rebellion by 36 Labour MPs in the House of Commons in June and now faces tough opposition in the House of Lords before it can become law.

Peers began debating the Bill's detailed committee stage last week and are due to vote on the 42-day plans later.

Amnesty International said it had chosen Leeds to launch its campaign because it was targeting MPs who voted for a 42-day limit in June, but who voted against Tony Blair's earlier plan for a 90-day limit.

It said Yorkshire had a high proportion of MPs who fell into this category.

This film is Amnesty's wake up call - we have got to stand up for our basic freedoms
Amnesty's UK director Kate Allen

Currently police can question terror suspects for up to 28 days before charge.

The protest is due to start at 1915 BST at City Square, Leeds followed by a screening of the film "Sleepwalk" at the Hi Fi Club in Central Road at 1945 BST and then speeches from Amnesty's UK director Kate Allen and 7/7 bombing survivor Rachel North.

Ms Allen said: "There's a real danger that people in Britain are sleepwalking into an assault on our human rights.

"This film is Amnesty's wake up call - we have got to stand up for our basic freedoms.

"We can't rely on Westminster rumours that 42 days won't become law - this is too important, hard-won liberties are at stake.

"Plans to extend detention without charge should be abandoned once and for all."

Amnesty's has also set up a new online petition urging MPs to oppose the 42-day proposal."

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