Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Police deny right to privacy

The parliamentary Justice Select Committee yesterday heard evidence that the police routinely require persons making complaints of sexual assault to sign away their right to privacy as a condition of the investigation. This is done at the initial stage by requiring the complainant to sign a "Stafford Statement". The title refers to a court judgement against the police for violating the right to privacy of a victim. Faced with the judgement, the police chose to protect themselves from further adverse judgements by introducing a procedure that demands the complainant sign way their right to privacy.

This is a shocking abuse of institutional power. It ought to be a scandal. Yet a google search reveals zero results. The corporate media are apparently unconcerned by this administrative denial of a human right that effectively nullifies both domestic law (the Human Rights Act) and international law (the European Convention of Human Rights). This lack of interest by the fourth estate is all the more shocking as the evidence was not only provided to the Committee, but is also easily available online.

The notion that all the corporate media is unaware of this denial of human rights to victims of sexual assaults is simply not credible. The only credible inference that can be drawn from this collective silence is that the corporate media has consciously decided not to publicise this scandalous abuse of power. This collective silence by the corporate media is effectively both censorship and propaganda. It undermines both the rule of law and democracy, and it colludes in the denial of human rights to people who are particularly vulnerable and in need of support.

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