Intended for healthcare professionals

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Holding people indefinitely causes mental health problems

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 06 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:60
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

Detainees held under current UK anti-terrorism laws have serious mental health problems that should be considered in the development of new legislation, warned a recent statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The college—the professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland—issued the statement after the House of Lords ruled on 16 December 2004 that the current legislation under which detainees are held (the 2001 Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act) was unlawful because indefinite detention without trial was incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1998.

After reviewing psychiatrists' reports on the detainees currently held under the 2001 anti-terrorism act, the college suggested …

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