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Terrorism Suspects

Media Constructions of Terrorism Suspects and Their Human Rights Claims

Lieve Gies, from the University of Leicester, made a contribution to the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, in the category “Criminal Justice and Human Rights,” under the title “Media Constructions of Terrorism Suspects and Their Human Rights Claims”. Here is the abstract: In the current security climate it is extremely rare for the news media to lend a sympathetic ear to terrorism suspects complaining that their human rights are being breached. In the UK, one notable exception is Gary McKinnon who has been fighting a protracted legal battle against extradition from the UK to the US on charges of cyberterrorism. This paper reflects on the media ethics of human rights by contrasting McKinnon’s positive media image with that of another high-profile terror suspect who is wanted by the US on terrorism charges, the Muslim cleric Abu Hamza. Although the human rights arguments invoked by both suspects are very similar, it is Hamza who is routinely constructed in the media as undeserving of rights protection. It will be argued that sympathy for McKinnon rests on a perception of a lack of even-handedness in the law which unjustly protects ‘real’ terrorists while exposing those committing less serious offences to the risk of extradition.

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  • “Media Constructions of Terrorism Suspects and Their Human Rights Claims”, by Lieve Gies (Proceedings)


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(2020, 02). Terrorism Suspects lawi.org.uk Retrieved 08, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/terrorism-suspects/

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  • Article Name: Terrorism Suspects
  • Author: Shelby Perry
  • Description: Media Constructions of Terrorism Suspects and Their Human Rights Claims Lieve Gies, from the University of Leicester, made [...]

This entry was last updated: February 23, 2020

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