Civil Liberties in the UK have been eroded over the last few years with the threat of terrorism and has been a particular concern of Jean’s.
In July 2005 Jean issued a statement following the terrorist attacks in London.
“This is a cowardly and obscene act of terrorism. Violence solves nothing: it breeds fear and hatred and the world has more than enough of that. At the very point where the G8 have at last begun to talk about poverty and climate change – issues which affect so many millions – there is no clear message coming from these bomb attacks. My heart goes out to the families of the dead and injured, who will doubtless reflect the diversity of London, including race and religion.”
Jean Lambert MEP
Jean wrote a letter to The Guardian in August 2005 after the news broke that the majority of the public in the UK would choose to lose their civil rights in order to improve security.
2005: In September 2005 Charles Clarke delivered a speech on the UK Presidency and terrorism to the European Parliament. Jean delivered a critical response raising a number of concerns. For the full response click here.
“…human rights are universal. They are not divisible, they are not negotiable and they are not applicable only to certain groups. We know from our own experience in the United Kingdom, when we were dealing with terrorism from the IRA years ago, that we could often see that convictions took priority over evidence and over correct police procedure. That is something we need to be aware of and bear in mind.
We also need to be wary of creating a feeling amongst people that everyone is a potential terrorist or criminal. We need a strong civil society, one which is democratic, in which people feel they can participate and are not excluded on the basis of their race or religion.”
Jean Lambert MEP
2002: In February 2002 Jean voted against a European Arrest Warrant. First, she said, we have to make sure that the appropriate minimum standards for penal processes in all member states. At present we can not rely enough on each others’ system to justify a European Arrest Warrant and current proposals do not aim to make these changes.
Jean was also involved on behalf of the Greens/EFA group in coming to an agreement on a proposal aiming to freeze the assets of terrorists shortly following the 11th September attacks. She confessed to feeling uncomfortable with the final result. While agreeing with the aims of the measure, she criticised its rushed nature and commented that
“If they were really serious about terrorism, they would have introduced a regulation like this years ago”.
She has been strongly critical of attempts by governments to use the tragic events of September 11th to introduce measures which would reduce civil liberties.