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STATEMENT on #CoronavirusBillUK:

The #CoronavirusBill:

Empowers police, immigration officers & public health officials to demand documentation; detain & isolate members of the public potentially indefinitely, including children; & forcibly take biological samples for testing /1
It permits prohibition of public events & gatherings without standard protections for strikes & industrial action that exist in Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

It weakens safeguards on the exercise of mass surveillance powers, quadrupling time review limits for urgent warrants /2
It is right that Government is taking rapid and robust action to protect public health, but we cannot let basic rights fall casualty to this crisis.

Our country faces challenges best when we hold onto our values, not abandon them. /3
The Bill contains blank cheque powers to detain and test ‘potentially infectious’ members of the public and even children in unidentified isolation facilities on threat of criminal sanctions.

That could be any one of us. /4
It contains sweeping powers to shut down even political assemblies, which could thwart the possibility of public protest against this power grab in the months ahead.

These breath taking powers demand utmost caution, the closest scrutiny and the strictest time limitations. /5
Many of the powers are unprecedented, unexplained and simply unjustified.

The two-year duration of the Act has not been justified and is totally out of step with the existing legal standards for emergency regulations. /6
This is no time for parliamentarians to abdicate their vital function of scrutiny.

These extraordinary powers risk permanently rebalancing the relationship between citizens and the state. /7
This crisis requires the public’s courage and co-operation, not our criminalisation.

These are the most draconian powers ever proposed in peace-time Britain and they require urgent review and reform. /8

#CoronavirusBill #CoronavirusBillUK…
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