Human rights groups and individuals have launched a series of legal actions against the British police over ‘Schedule 7’ stops at airports. Schedule 7 gives the police the right to stop and search people at airports, to fingerprint them and take their DNA, and to hold them for up to 9 hours without legal representation.
More than 70,000 people were stopped and questioned under the Schedule 7 law last year and a hugely disproportionate number were ethnic minorities or Muslims. And the most intrusive and humiliating searches were conducted on those of “Muslim appearance.” Human rights groups say the law is morally and ethically bankrupt because it indiscriminately targets ethnic minorities and Muslims. The government says that Schedule 7 is one of the powers in their arsenal to confront the terrorism threat to mainland Britain.