Thursday, April 19, 2018

Threat to life: Updated complaint to the United Nations under Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Under construction

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

(Introduction paragraph to be posted.)

His Excellency Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva
Switzerland

April 2018

Your Excellency,

I write as the Managing Director of the non-profit Network for Church Monitoring to ask you to urge the United Kingdom to accede to the First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the multilateral treaty that commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19 of the ICCPR and construed by the European Court of Human Rights in Handyside v. United Kingdom (1976).

The First Optional Protocol sets out a system by which the UN's Human Rights Committee can receive and consider complaints from individuals who allege a violation of the ICCPR. But since the UK Government has not ratified the First Optional Protocol, individuals living in the UK are not currently permitted to submit written communications to the Committee. Indeed, the UK is the only European Union member state (prior to its exit from the EU in 2019) and one of only three members of the Council of Europe not to have acceded to the Protocol.

My wife and I complain of an orchestrated campaign of harassment and intimidation by the UK's Security Service (MI5) and/or Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) over a period dating back to 2003. We have exhausted all available domestic remedies and my claim has been dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights on the ground that it "did not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention or its Protocols". Please see my Communication enclosed herewith. Paragraphs 50-56 outline why the Vatican and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church should be monitored.

We note the UK Government's response cited in the sixth periodic report under the ICCPR, in which it states that the UK Government does not see "a compelling need to accept individual petition to the UN" and that it is the UK Government's view in this regard that "the practical value to the individual citizen is unclear". We believe that the UK Government should be urged to reconsider accession to the First Optional Protocol in order to guarantee effective and consistent protection of the full range of ICCPR rights to those living within its borders.

Yours sincerely,


Declan Heavey
Managing Director
Network for Church Monitoring

Re: Threat to life

Paragraph 41 of Declan's updated complaint to the United Nations under Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

41. It has been established in judicial review papers that the Applicant and his wife can live independently – they do not have addictions or mental illness or behavioural issues. Their needs are solely related to the persecution and opposition they routinely face. Following their unavoidable court action against St Mungo's last year (see para. 38 above), they anticipate that all the terms of their tenancy agreement will not be renewed next month. (The two-year fixed term of their tenancy expires for the second time on 16 May.) The Applicant may then be left with no option but to challenge this decision in the High Court (Judicial Review) as unreasonable, unlawful and incapable of legal justification. As the matter stands, therefore, there is a threat to life and wellbeing taking into account the following range of factors as applicable:

(i) The Applicant has a history of serious respiratory illness and has suffered bouts of pneumonia and other respiratory infections since childhood. Both he and his wife doubt he has the respiratory health to survive even another year or two on the streets. He is in his late fifties and during his and his wife's first period of homelessness he was twice hospitalised, once with pneumonia in December 2006 and the second time with a viral infection in October 2007. Near the end of their second period of homelessness in April 2014, the Applicant was diagnosed with asthma as well as a chest infection.

(ii) Both the Applicant and his wife have serious concerns about the health care the Applicant has or has not received over the years from National Health Service (NHS) England. Prior to his hospitalisation with pneumonia in 2006, he lost consciousness while vomiting and could have easily died had his wife not been with him. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital discharged him 42 hours after admission whilst still unwell (into the shivering cold and dense fog), placing him at risk. The Applicant most recently complained to NHS England about emergency dental treatment he received in January 2018. He complained in part that he had a nerve removed from a tooth but was only prescribed antibiotics after the eruption of the tooth days later. NHS England did not uphold any aspect of the Applicant's complaint. The tooth itself was extracted a month to the day after the emergency treatment.

(iii) Back on the streets the Applicant and his wife will be restricted to sleeping on night buses, notwithstanding the Applicant's asthma and now increased susceptibility to respiratory illness. They were forced into this predicament prior to coming off the streets the second time because of an excessive use of force by police officers to move them out of where they had been sleeping that included the Applicant's wife being threatened with arrest on the trumped-up charge of assaulting a police officer (see para. 32 above). Since the subsequent escalation of the migration crisis in Europe, the police have been given more powers to crack down on rough sleeping and need less to resort to excessive force (such as arrest without lawful authority).

From My Picks:

25 March: Threat to life: We have started our "threat to life" defence against the Greater London Authority. Facebook blocks against our Church and State website have massively escalated this month (WITH UPDATE 15/4/2018)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

1,138 blocks on public access to our Church and State website since 26 July 2016. One block so far today (as of 11.36am) on DAY 2 of Facebook's 37th block against Church and State since 1 December 2015


Re: Blocks on public access to our Church and State website since 26 July 2016

From my Facebook post's Update 15 April (11.21am):

"And it's not just Facebook blocks, blocks on public access to our Church and State website, and the daily targeting to fluctuating degrees of category pages throughout the site. Since 26 May 2017, we have been recording Internet cuts to boot; see my blog post of 21 June 2017, Internet cuts: We pay £65 per month for BT Infinity but feel we are in a race against time to stay online (WITH UPDATE 15/4/2018 RE: 183rd Internet cut since 26 May 2017). Perhaps of particular importance in all this is the fact that last November Church and State topped more than 3 million hits over the previous eleven months and despite the even then far from level playing field."

15 April (11.36am): 1,138 blocks on public access to our Church and State website since 26 July 2016 (89 blocks 2016; 871 blocks 2017; 178 blocks 2018). See my blog post of 16 January 2017, The blocks on public access to our Church and State website continue unabated (WITH UPDATE 15/4/2018 RE: 1,138th block since 26 July 2016). 183 blocks in the last three months of 2017 that included 7 blocks on 19 October; 59 blocks last month; 19 blocks this month; 10 blocks last week; 1 block so far today.

1. 810th 19 October 2017, 6.40am
2. 811th 19 October 2017, 12.14pm
3. 812th 19 October 2017, 2.03pm
4. 813th 19 October 2017, 5.13pm
5. 814th 19 October 2017, 7.18pm
6. 815th 19 October 2017, 8.22pm
7. 816th 19 October 2017, 10.54pm (7)
---------------------------------------------------
Last week:
319. 1,128th 8 April 2018, 5.41pm
320. 1,129th 8 April 2018, 11.48pm (2)
321. 1,130th 10 April 2018, 10.04am
322. 1,131st 10 April 2018, 11.52pm (2)
323. 1,132nd 11 April 2018, 9.54am (1)
324. 1,133rd 12 April 2018, 4.02am (1)
325. 1,134th 13 April 2018, 3.33am
326. 1,135th 13 April 2018, 6.31am
327. 1,136th 13 April 2018, 10.53am
328. 1,137th 13 April 2018, 11.59am (4)*
---------------------------------------------------
So far this week:
329. 1,138th 15 April 2018, 2.05am (1)

October 2017: 57 blocks
November 2017: 52 blocks
December 2017: 74 blocks
January 2018: 55 blocks
February 2018: 45 blocks
March 2018: 59 blocks
April 2018: 19 blocks (ongoing)

* This 1,137th block occurred the day before Facebook's 37th block against Church and State since 1 December 2015; see my blog post of 7 December 2017, Fighting for survival in London: Facebook's 26th block against our Church and State website since 1 December 2015. Last month Church and State topped more than 3 million hits over the past year (WITH UPDATE 15/4/2018 RE: Block 37 DAY 2). The following are the last 14 of these Facebook blocks (all without explanation save the 30th block which maintained that everything from Church and State "looks like spam"):

24th 28 October - 8 November 2017 (12 days)
25th 23-30 November 2017 (8 days)
26th 7-8 December 2017 (2 days)
27th 10-17 December 2017 (8 days)
28th 28 December 2017 - 4 January 2018 (8 days)
29th 16-23 January 2018 (8 days)
30th 28 January - 4 February 2018 (8 days) ('spam')
31st 12-19 February 2018 (8 days)
32nd 26 February - 5 March 2018 (8 days)
33rd 7-14 March 2018 (8 days)
34th 16-24 March 2018 (8 days)
35th 24 March - 1 April 2018 (9 days)
36th 4-11 April 2018 (8 days)
37th 14-21 April 2018 (8 days) (ongoing)

November 2017: 16 days
December 2017: 14 days
January 2018: 16 days
February 2018: 15 days
March 2018: 29 days
April 2018: 17 days (to 21 April)

See The War on Free Expression by our honorary associate Flemming Rose (of Danish Cartoon Crisis fame), who is also one of our 13 authors.


'Independent' court scrutinising public authorities and law enforcement agencies is located inside the Home Office in Westminster, London.

Re: Investigatory Powers Tribunal

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) dismissed Declan's complaint against the secret services on papers in less than three weeks, on 1 September 2011, stating that it was "obviously unsustainable". This is paragraph 11 of Declan's updated complaint to the United Nations under Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

11. The IPT was created in October 2000 by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and given the power to investigate any complaints against GCHQ, MI5 or MI6, as well as complaints about surveillance operations mounted by the police or any other public bodies. The Guardian reported on 5 March 2014 that the tribunal, which claims to be completely independent of the UK Government, is secretly operating from a base within the Home Office, by which it is funded. The newspaper found that the IPT had investigated about 1,500 complaints and upheld only 10 (five of these concerned members of one family who had all lodged complaints about surveillance by their local council). No complaint against any of the intelligence agencies had ever been upheld. The discovery that the IPT is lodged within a Whitehall department fuelled criticisms of the tribunal that had been levelled by rights groups, lawyers and complainants. The IPT's critics complain that the secrecy is excessive and that its procedures are stacked so heavily in favour of the government and against complainants that it is fundamentally unfair. According to The Guardian, some senior lawyers have described the IPT as "Kafkaesque", while one eminent barrister has dismissed it as "a kangaroo court". The newspaper also reports that as a consequence of the secrecy surrounding the tribunal and the perception that it is unfair, many would-be complainants spurn it.

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From My Picks:

25 March: Threat to life: We have started our "threat to life" defence against the Greater London Authority. Facebook blocks against our Church and State website have massively escalated this month (WITH UPDATE 15/4/2018)




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