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Metropolitan Police Admit Women Deceived Into Relationships With Spycops Were Tortured Under Article 3 Of Human Rights

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Nicola Driscoll-DaviesInstitutionalised Sexism and lies by the Police laid bare at Tribunal
 Metropolitan Police Admit Women Deceived Into Relationships With Spycops Were Tortured Under Article 3 Of Human Rights
Lawyers for the Metropolitan police admit at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal that Mark Kennedy's undercover intimate relationship with Kate Wilson was human rights abuse.

Police lawyers confirmed this week at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) that undercover officers’ sexual relationships with women breached Article 3 of the Human Rights Act, the right to live without torture or inhumane or degrading treatment.

Kate Wilson was deceived into an intimate sexual relationship with spycop Mark Kennedy in 2003 for two years, and she is the first woman to challenge the state for human rights abuses at the IPT citing violations of five Articles of her human rights.

At the hearing, the president of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, Lord Justice Singh, said:

“The breach of Article 3, the freedom from torture, - such an admission is unprecedented.”

The IPT, the secretive court based at the Home Office designed to investigate human rights abuses by the surveillance services, ruled in Kate’s favour and instructed police lawyers, who failed once again in their attempts to get the case dismissed, “to stop messing around” and produce documents within three months.

The Tribunal ordered defence witnesses should be called, documents disclosed in particular copies of each officer who infiltrated and authorised the surveillance, so the Tribunal can investigate the legality of the operation of Kate’s excessive surveillance.

Professor Graham Zellick, informed David Perry, representing the Metropolitan police that the Tribunal want full disclosure at every stage of the surveillance authorisation, he said:

“We are determined to reach a proper conclusion on the legality of the surveillance itself and return of material leading up to the start of deployments, where it started, and not just the misbehaviour of Mr Kennedy.”

The fact the police have now admitted to breaching Kate’s Article 3 is significant, she said:

“Obviously this admission of my violation of Article 3 is a massive deal and a victory to have them recognise for an institution to sexually assault women.

“The police are still trying to shut it down and so the admissions are for their own selfish reasons, and I have to wonder why these admissions are made to stop it, and what’s really in the files.

“The failure to recognise my sexual relationship was the most important thing, as under no circumstances is it possible to deceive women under Article 3, and I am pushing for implications for the future as there are no clear laws under RIPA or criminal standards to stop it from happening again.”

Kate’s solicitor, Harriet Wistrich, from Birnberg Peirce, said:

“This was the first time the Article 3 violation was admitted and so this is a historic achievement and the police now can’t go back from this.

“It looks as though the IPT are looking at this case seriously, so we will see what happens next, however the police will and are still going to try and throw the case out.”

For the past eight years police denied any knowledge of intimate relationships between undercover officers and their targets, and for the very first time official documents showed managers, not only knew of the sexual relationships but acquiesced them.

Police claim to hold 10,000 documents which reference Kate, and in just 200 mostly redacted samples given to the IPT the shocking depths to which her human rights were violated are recorded by Mark Kennedy, and his many superiors.

Kate, explained: “Seeing it on paper, the personal details is still shocking, and a destabilising thing.

“I was shocked reading the personal details, and when talking to other women affected you can see clearly the tactics used – spycops were trained to manipulate, mirror and build emotional connections with women.”

Kennedy and his handlers, cover officers, line-managers, and supervisors recorded in official note books of watching the pair meet and embrace at airports, 11 overnight stays at her parents’ home, visits to the theatre and cinema, holidays to the lake district, this was evidence of undeniable knowledge of their relationship.

Chilling and forensic details of Kate’s life are recorded by the hand of her paid lover, including an expense claim from Mark noting for £80 of public funds to purchase Kate a bicycle, in order to: “Provide facility for quality time to reinforce bond/relationship.”

Professor Zellick informed the Tribunal that it was inconceivable from the papers he had personally seen that all the managers involved did not know of the sexual relationship between Kate and Mark.

Charlotte Kilroy, human rights specialist, leading Kate’s all-female legal team, told the Tribunal:

“I wish to emphasise that this is a case where the police have consistently lied.

“They have lied about every aspect of Mark Kennedy’s deployment, and the defence have given a misleading public apology which they now contradict.

“There is widespread agreement that Article 3 was breached, and the gravity of the breach is more than a bad apple.

“We don’t accept the public apology from the Met was as full as it should have been – it suggests that this was a bad apple problem.

“This was not a bad apple problem, this was not a problem of supervision.

“It was a tactic of deployment.”

Harriet Wistrich, solicitor, explained:

“The police know that it is a pattern of institutional sexism, and we are looking at a private prosecution of the managers involved, as they were the directors – the spycops were being directed to do this to women.”

Kate, an environmentalist and Greenpeace member was a direct target of Operation Pegasus, a covert police investigation into the activities of the ‘extreme left wing’, including climate change groups, and she has been spied upon and infiltrated for many years, by up to seven spycops. Kate, recalled:

“There have been undercover officers in all political and private space in my life before I met Mark Kennedy in 2003.

“For 18 years I have been abused and persecuted by the secret political police because of my beliefs and political activities.

“This is political policing and the invasion of privacy, and the systematic violation of my human rights.

“There is a risk of collateral intrusion, for example if you are opposed to fracking it means you will be spied upon.”

Kilroy, stressed to the Tribunal the disproportionate nature of the surveillance:

“Kate’s case is also hugely disproportionate surveillance, and part of a wider surveillance as for over 10 years she was spied on by many spycops.

“This is the systematic discrimination against women by spycops, and we have a serious trust deficit with the police.”

After the hearing six determined women deceived into sexual relationships with spycops spoke at a meeting organised by Police Spies Out of Lives.

Alison, was deceived into a five-year relationship with Mark Cassidy, real name Mark Jenner, in 1996, for the simple act of volunteering at her local community centre.

Alison later found out Cassidy was a spycop with a wife and three children, who was sent to infiltrate trade unionists and the Colin Roach Community Centre.

Alison told the panel the genie was finally out of the bottle in regard to the fact that the women affected were sexually assaulted by the state, and that the managers indeed knew and also directed the relationships.

Alison, said: “It is important to remember that this is not a story of historic human rights abuses, as Mark Kennedy and the surveillance of Kate was directed in early 2000 by the NPOIU, and we have argued strongly that this case is sexual assault and institutional sexism.

“The police have acted like criminal gangs in secret, and this is the systematic using of women as tools, as we were all used as props to reinforce the spycops identities.

“This is not historic corruption, this is institutional corruption and we need the real and cover names released.”

Jessica, recently became aware that the current Conservative Councillor of Peterborough Andy Coles, was a spycop who groomed and targeted her into a sexual relationship while she was only 19 years old. Jessica, said:

“When I found out I did not know anything about spycops, and for two days and nights I was in total shock, unable to sleep or eat.

“I am currently engaged in legal actions against the police, and Andy Coles has resigned as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, however I cannot believe the spycop who deceived me into an abusive and inhumane relationship is still at present a Tory Councillor and school governor in Peterborough.”

Gareth Peirce, the renowned human rights solicitor and senior partner at Birnberg Peirce, who represented the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six, said:

“We mustn’t forget that we are talking about state crimes against women, and it is not easy to penetrate the veil of anonymity and it is an extraordinary weapon in the hands of the police, and it’s a growth industry.

“More information will come out, it will be painful.

“But it is such an important contribution to our understanding of our society, and to what our state does it is exceptional.”

Since 1968, 144 spycops have infiltrated for periods of five years, and if the tactic of sexual relationships was widespread, many more women have yet to find out that they were subjected to torturous degrading human rights abuses at the hands of the once secret political police.

There are 22 women confirmed to have been deceived into long-term sexual relationships with undercover police officers and so in essence this could just be the beginning of the story.

#spycops humanrights