campaigner wins court battle to have information removed from extremism database

by Tim Phillips

In a landmark decision this morning, a Court of Appeal in the UK ruled that the retention of information regarding campaigner John Catt in the National Domestic Extremism Database was unlawful. Last year High Court judges had ruled against Catt. According to today’s BBC article,

Mr Catt began legal action after he discovered details of his protests against EDO, a US-owned arms company which has a factory in Brighton, were being held on the database. The data at the centre of the case included records or reports made by officers policing protests by the group Smash EDO. The group has carried on a long-running campaign calling for the closure of EDO…

In the U.S., such a victory would also be notable. Yet activist attorney Kiko Martinez successfully settled two federal lawsuits in 2007 related to the inclusion of his name on an FBI terrorist watch list because of his political beliefs. He received $106,500 to settle the lawsuits, which he filed after officers stopped him in three different states without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

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