Activists found guilty of ‘terror’ charge

The 'Stansted Fifteen' activists have been found guilty of 'terror' charges

The ‘Stansted Fifteen’ group of protestors have been found guilty of endangering the safety of Stansted Airport, under counter-terrorism legislation that could result in life imprisonment.

The members of the campaign group End Deportations, which include Quaker Lyndsay Burtonshaw, used lock-on devices to secure themselves around the Home Office-chartered Titan Airways Boeing 767. The plane on 28 March 2017 was deporting undocumented migrants to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone. According to one of the defendants, Benjamin Smoke, two of the deportees ‘have been found to have been victims of human trafficking and wouldn’t have been found without the action’.

The group released a statement following the verdict: ‘We are guilty of nothing more than intervening to prevent harm. The real crime is the government’s cowardly, inhumane and barely legal deportation flights and the unprecedented use of terror law to crack down on peaceful protest. We must challenge this shocking use of draconian legislation, and continue to demand an immediate end to these secretive deportation charter flights and a full independent public inquiry into the government’s “hostile environment”.

‘Justice will not be done until we are exonerated and the Home Office is held to account for the danger it puts people in every single day.’

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s director, described the verdict as ‘a crushing blow for human rights in the UK’.

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