Oct 1st, 2013 by Jonathan Alvarez
A grandpa’s family home is about to be seized by the UK government under its terrorism laws. Recently, the Court of Appeals of London rejected Munir Farooqi’s appeal of four life sentences given in September 2011 by the Manchester Crown Court. Munir Farooqi, a british citizen, was sentenced in 2011 after being accused of trying to radicalize young men for the Afghan jihad. At trial it was stated that Farooqi used his family home as the center of his terrorist plots. Immediately following decision of the Court of Appeals, the police filed a bid to seize Farooqi’s £200,000 home as a terrorist asset.
UK’s power to seize property from terrorists comes from the Terrorism Act 2000. Under this act, personal property has been seized as terrorist assets but this will be the first time ever a terrorist’s entire home will be seized. The Court of Appeals’ decision sets the beginning of a landmark move by the UK police to attempt to expand their power under the Terrorism Act 2000
About 7 family members of three different generations reside in Farooqi’s home. The family members were stunned after hearing the decision of the Court of Appeals. They believe that this is a form of “collective punishment” for Farooqi’s actions. They also contend that if their home was seized it would be a violation of their right to private and family life.
I believe that the actions of Farooqi to radicalize young men were outrageous but to deprive his other family members of their home is outright wrong. Respect of one’s private and family life is a right guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and if the police seize Farooqi’s home, the rights of the remaining residents of the home will be violated. If Farooqi’s home is seized the Terrorism Act 2000 will be limitless. Unless, it is found that the family members knew of Farooqi’s actions and disregarded or support them, they should not be punished for his actions.
Do you agree with the Prosecution that since Farooqi used his home as the center of his terrorist plot, it is fair for them to seize it?
Should there be additional procedures to ensure that the parties adversely affected by this seizure are given fair treatment before such action?
How should the court rule on this matter? Any opinions?
Picture: International Business Times