Human rights experts are demanding the UK stop using terrorism-related charges against peaceful protesters. Recently, 15 anti-deportation activists were convicted for terrorism charges with a potential life sentence, but they were not sentenced jail time.
Amnesty International and the UN have described the charges as a crushing blow for human rights in the UK. The use of terror charges have been called disproportionate and inaccurate for non-violent protesters. Activists are concerned the charges demonstrate a clear effort by the authorities to prevent other people from taking similar direct action to defend human rights.
The group, known as the Stansted 15, were prosecuted on terror charges for blocking the departure of a deportation flight on March 28 2017. The group got onto the runway and chained themselves around the front landing gear and a tripod behind the left wing.
As a result of the Stansted 15 action, 10 of the passengers on the flight remain in the country, four who are confirmed or suspected to have been victims of human trafficking.