Home Affairs Committee Press Notice

Session 2003-04, dated 21 June 2004


The Home Affairs Committee will visit Belmarsh Prison in South-East London on Tuesday 22 June, to inspect the conditions of the 8 people detained there under Section IV of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.

The purpose of the visit is to allow Members to find out more about the conditions in which the detainees are being held.

In a letter to the Home Secretary, the Chairman of the Committee, Rt Hon John Denham MP, stated that:

"We are aware that the Government's reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, Lord Carlile, has visited these detainees and reported on the circumstances of their detention. However, in view of the exceptional nature of the powers being used to detain without trial or the bringing of charges, we feel that it is appropriate that the Committee, as the relevant departmental select committee of the House of Commons, should also be in a position to inform itself fully about the operation of these powers."

This will be a one-off fact-finding visit and is not part of a wider inquiry. The Committee will not be looking into the reasons why individuals have been detained.