The actors who star in movie The Road to Guantanamo were questioned by police at Luton airport under anti-terrorism legislation, it has emerged.
The men, who play British inmates at the detention camp, were returning from the Berlin Film Festival where the movie won a Silver Bear award.
One of the actors, Rizwan Ahmed, said a police officer asked him if he intended to make any more “political” films.
“Six people were stopped under the Terrorism Act. This is something that happens all the time and obviously at airports and train stations,” said a spokeswoman.
“There is a heightened state of security since the London bombings. Public safety is paramount.”
Mr Ahmed also alleges that he was verbally abused by a police officer and had his mobile phone taken from him for a short period.
The actor also claims that he was told by police that he could be held for up to 48 hours without access to a lawyer.
(Source: BBC News)
I smell the ghosts of McCarthy and Stalin hovering over this affair, nodding their approval.
Notice the most chilling part, which I highlighted:
“One of the actors, Rizwan Ahmed, said a police officer asked him if he intended to make any more “political” films.”
How un-nerving is that? Knowing that the stormtrooper stopping you doesn’t for a minute suspect you of being a terrorist, they know full well that you’re an actor in an anti-US war crimes film. They’re harrassing you merely for the fun of it, because they can.
The other part I find appalling is when the spokeswoman blithely states, “it happens all the time.”
Perhaps it shouldn’t be happening all the time? Perhaps we shouldn’t be living in a police state where we can be stopped and questioned at any time under the vaguest of pretexts or just shot dead catching the tube.
She states that “public safety is paramount.” How can we be “safe” if we aren’t free? If we’re watched and interrogated at the whim of a police state, if we can be spirited away on CIA torture flights with no explanation, no charges, no trials?
That isn’t safety, that’s imprisonment.