A Conservative MP has said the Charlie Hebdo murders demonstrate why it is necessary to scrap the Human Rights Act, leaving experts "astonished".
David Davies, who represents the Monmouth constituency in Wales, said in a quite stunning statement on his website: “The tragic terrorist attacks in Paris should be a wake-up call.
We should state that anyone suspected of links with any militant Islamist organisations should be prevented from entry under any circumstance into Britain.
- David Davies, MP
The remarks stem from his experience as a special constable, when he was involved in the arrest of a man who declared himself a member of the Taliban, who was allegedly in Britain as an asylum seeker.
Mr Davies claims that the man was then set free “to continue his journey across London to meet his lawyers who were no doubt being paid for out of public money”.
It is not known what, if any, offence the unnamed man committed.
The parliamentarian wrote that he was worried that under the current human rights law anyone can come to the UK and claim asylum.
“There must be huge numbers of people in Britain who have been members of extremist Islamic organisations. Some are actually using this as the basis for an asylum claim,” he said. (Wut?)
Human rights experts were aghast at the MP’s statements. Adam Wagner, a barrister at One Crown Office Row chambers, wrote on the UK Human Rights Blog that the MP's reasoning was "spurious".
Mr Davies’ post is irresponsible, particularly in the charged climate following the Paris attacks. He should remove or amend it, with a clear message that he got it wrong.
- Adam Wagner
Wagner also points out that claiming asylum does not fall under the Human Rights Act, but rather the 1951 Refugee Convention - leaving Mr Davies' argument flawed.
Mark Elliot, a Cambridge law professor, wrote on a blog: “Dignifying this with a response is perhaps inadvisable, but I cannot resist a few words. Davies’ remarks disclose an astonishing — but unfortunately commonplace — level of legal illiteracy.”