Index on Censorship rejects proposals for a new UK treason law.
A report by influential think tank Policy Exchange proposed creating a new offence of treason that would be committed if anyone “does any act” intended to aid “an attack on the UK by any state or organisation.” Index believes this definition is so broad as to be unworkable and presents a grave threat to freedom of expression.
The report was co-authored by Tom Tugendhat MP, chair of the foreign affairs select committee, and has been endorsed by former Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
“The UK already has a raft of terror laws and successive reviewers of these laws have argued there is no need for further legislation in this area,” said Index chief executive Jodie Ginsberg. “Vaguely defined laws such as the one proposed can easily be used by more extreme governments to punish political enemies rather than simply tackle those engaged in violence.”
“We should resist these repeated attempts to try to tackle terrorists using broad brush laws that ultimately chip away at all our hard won freedoms and liberties.”
Index on Censorship has also called for changes to the proposed Counter Terror and Border Security Bill currently going through parliament.