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Asset-freezing powers are punishment without trial, says CAMPACC

CAMPACC has made its submission on the Terrorist Asset Freezing Etc. Bill to the Joint Committee on Human Rights. SACC fully supports the CAMPACC submission

CAMPACC argues for an end to the control of every aspect of the finances of those subject to freezing orders. Based on nothing other than Treasury's 'suspicion' that they may be involved in Terrorism, CAMPACC outlines the draconian effects of this administrative punishment.

CAMPAC says in its submission:

...the current powers of asset-freezing inflict punishment without trial, violating thebasic rules of due process. Why is this happening? Not an isolated example, the above casepoints to a systemic practice designed to intimidate and punish. We have received anecdotalevidence that such impacts – harassment, poverty and mental trauma – are commonplaceamong those who have been designated.

Individuals and families are given no reasons for why they are under order. Nor do they haveany viable prospect to challenge the orders. This contributes to a sustained emotional andphysical state of siege, where the system provides every indication that the orders couldcontinue indefinitely without real accountability. The families we consulted have justifiablylost any hope for pursuing justice in the UK legal system.

Moreover, in practice freezing orders in effect prohibit controlled persons fromcommunicating with the public or the press about their persecution. This effect typifiesdictatorships. It contributes nothing to the supposed aim of preventing terrorism. Bysilencing its victims, the state conceals its systematic punishment without trial under thepretext of ‘anti-terror’ powers. The extra asset-freezing powers in the Bill would extendcurrent injustices and so should be rejected. Instead the current regime should be heldaccountable for its injustices.

Read the full submission