Dear Friends ,
Emergency powers are needed to protect public health. However, authorities need to use them in a proportionate, lawful and strictly temporary way, to protect our democracy in the long run. They mustn’t be kept a second longer than necessary.
That’s why we’re producing monthly reports exposing excessive uses of emergency powers with analysis and recommendations. We’ll send you a copy –and we’ll send the Emergency Powers & Civil Liberties Report to every parliamentarian, every month.
You can go ahead and read them here.
We’re keeping a close eye on the creation and use of Government databases, including phone tracking. And we’re engaging with authorities to challenge uses of emergency powers that threaten civil liberties.
Scrutiny must continue.
You won’t believe this…
Since March 2020, thousands of people have been fined under emergency powers – some have even been jailed.
In our emergency powers review, we found a postcode lottery of pandemic policing that was inconsistent and often heavy-handed.
One of the most staggering cases we uncovered was an 18 year old boy in Oxford wrongly convicted under the Coronavirus Act after police spotted him visiting his vulnerable mother to give her money.
He was found guilty under extreme powers in Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act, intended to detain and quarantine people for testing. There was no indication that he was unwell. This was a gross misuse of emergency powers – and worse, he was charged under Welsh powers whilst in England. This shambolic trial was just one case, but there could be many others, right?
A major breakthrough!
Thanks to our investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service has reversed his conviction – and better still, decided to review EVERY charge, conviction + sentence brought under emergency coronavirus laws. This is the first time the CPS has ever launched a review of every charge under a specific law!
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch said:
“This unprecedented review is a reflection of how these draconian emergency powers risk confusion, criminalisation and unduly stripping people of their liberty.”
This is just an example of our work. Vital work made possible by the generosity of our supporters and donors.
Here’s how you can help
We’re working extremely hard to keep on top of this fast moving situation – but we need your help.
The single best way to help is by becoming a supporter. Not only will we keep you in the loop with action alerts, but you’ll be directly contributing to the strength of our work.
Believe it or not, we don’t have huge funds to help us keep doing the vital work we do. We rely entirely on donations. So, please, consider supporting us today.
To say thank you, we’re sending supporters who donate £10p/m our “2020 is the new 1984” t-shirts.
And we want to thank every single one of you for your support so far – whether you’ve newly joined our mailing list, shared links to our work, taken part in our actions, sent emails of support or donated – it all makes a difference. In these testing times, the way we are rising to the challenge together should give us all hope for the future.
Big Brother Watch Team