Face of the day

Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour Party  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Jeremy Corbyn has argued that people who support Islamic State should not be prosecuted for “expressing a political point of view”.

The Labour leader told MPs that Britain should not make “value judgements” and that holding a view was not in itself “an offence.”

Speaking during a parliamentary debate on temporary exclusion orders in 2014,  he questioned the creation of “legal obstacles” for fighters returning from to the UK from Syria.

…He said: “I have no support for ISIS whatsoever, and obviously that should apply to someone who has committed crimes, but we should bear in mind that expressing a political point of view is not in itself an offence.

“The commission of a criminal act is clearly a different matter, but expressing a point of view, even an unpalatable one, is sometimes quite important in a democracy.

“We should be slightly cautious about announcing that we will start to deal with people on the basis of a general view that they have expressed.

Mr Corbyn said he had “no truck with those who commit those barbaric acts”, but urged the then Home Secretary Theresa May not to create further “legal obstacles” for those fighters entering Britain.

He called on the Government to avoid the knee-jerk reaction of saying, “These are bad fighters and those are good fighters, so we will ban these and allow those in.”

…Of an estimated total of 850 British men and women who have left to go to Iraq and Syria, around 130 are thought to have been killed and nearly 350 have returned to the UK.

Those returning face police questioning, but any decision to arrest people, charge them or keep them under surveillance is based on intelligence about what they did abroad, or any plotting they carried out before they left the UK.

-telegraph.co.uk


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