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Police seize BBC journalist’s laptop using special terror power

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BBC’s Secunder Kermani
Press TV – October 29, 2015

British police have come under sharp criticism for seizing a personal laptop of a BBC journalist over the suspicion of his alleged links with Daesh or ISIL terrorist group in Syria.

It has emerged that the police seized the laptop belonging to Secunder Kermani earlier this year to ascertain the type of communications he had with a terrorist in Syria.

Kermani has been working for the current affairs program, BBC Newsnight for over one year and has extensively covered British ISIL recruits in the Middle East.

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UK’s counter-terrorism squad during a maneuver (File photo)

The police say they used special powers from the counter-terrorism laws in order to read communications between Kermani and a man who featured in his program and had publicly identified himself as a member of the Takfiri terrorist group in Syria.

“While we would not seek to obstruct any police investigation, we are concerned that the use of the Terrorism Act to obtain communication between journalists and sources will make it very difficult for reporters to cover this issue of critical public interest”, Ian Katz, the editor of Newsnight said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the British police have come under sharp criticism over the seizure of the laptop. “A hysteria around terrorism” is how Jo Glanville, director of the campaign group English PEN described the incident.

According to a BBC spokesman, the police had every right to use the special power but said “the man featured in Newsnight reports was not a confidential source.”

Orders obtained under the Terrorism Act leave journalists with little or no comeback when police use them to seek access to material. By contrast, a public interest defense has been used in the past to contest attempts by the police.

October 29, 2015 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance |

2 Comments »

  1. What a shame that police don’t have the same powers to investigate tax evasion by the big end of town. Imagine the “Terror” that would inflict on Corporate Britain……………(and the rest of the world)
    Every country would be able to eliminate their “Budget Deficits” very quickly………………

    Like

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | October 29, 2015 | Reply

  2. Freedom of the press? Hell no….

    Like

    Comment by roberthstiver | October 30, 2015 | Reply


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