Treat Muslims better, Britain told by UN

Britain has been told by the United Nations to challenge negative public views towards the Muslim community.

The nine-member human rights committee composed of legal experts, said it was concerned “negative public attitudes towards Muslim members of society” continued to be allowed in Britain. It recommended the Government “should take energetic measures to eliminate this phenomenon and ensure that authors of such acts of discrimination on the basis of religion are adequately deterred and sanctioned.”

The committee also expressed concern over the Government’s plan to extend detention of terrorist suspects without trial from 28 to 42 days. Those suspected of terrorism should be promptly charged and taken to court within a reasonable period of time, while their lawyers should have access to the evidence against them.

The committee contains members from Britain, Ireland, Australia, Benin, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Mauritius and Sweden – all are expected to be independent from their governments. Their comments come in response to reports from the UK and Ireland on how to carry out their obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2008