UK police have reportedly used the country’s anti-terror laws to detain a French publisher accused of being involved in protests against Emmanuel Macron, and arrested him for refusing to hand over his phone passcode.
Ernest Moret, who works for Editions La Fabrique, was reportedly travelling to Britain in order to attend the annual London Book Fair when he was detained by officers allegedly over concerns that he was “engaged in terrorist acts or in possession of material for use in terrorism”.
Officers reportedly believed he had been involved in recent anti-government protests in France which had occurred in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms.
According to a report by The Telegraph, Editions La Fabrique has said that Moret was initially taken upon arrival at St Pancras Station in London on Monday, with officers detaining him under terror suspicions.
“On arrival at St Pancras Station, Ernest was pulled aside by police officers acting under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and detained for questioning without a lawyer present, allegedly to determine whether he was engaged in terrorist acts or in possession of material for use in terrorism,” the publisher said.
He was then formally arrested on Tuesday morning over his alleged refusal to surrender his phone and passcodes to the officers, which is being considered by the UK authorities as “obstruction”.
“We consider these actions to be outrageous and unjustifiable infringements of basic principles of the freedom of expression and an example of the abuse of anti-terrorism laws,” the publisher said, denouncing the arrest as “intolerable and outrageous”
Although a protest demanding Moret’s release was planned to be held demanding Moret’s release, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said he was eventually released on bail on Tuesday evening. While he had been arrested, no charges have yet been filed and the investigation is apparently ongoing.
The use of anti-terror law by UK police to detain the Frenchman comes amid fears that far more dangerous terrorists could currently be stalking the streets of London thanks to the UK’s inept border controls.
According to a report last week, at least 19 suspected terrorists linked to Jihadi organisations such as the Islamic State have been detected sneaking into Britain via the English Channel, with seven of them said to be under “active investigation” by UK security services.
Having arrived in the country on a small migrant boat, many of these possible terrorists are even being housed in four-star hotels at the expense of the UK taxpayer, with authorities unwilling to use any known terrorism links for fear of jeopardising their intelligence activities.
“This is extremely concerning,” Dr Alan Mendoza of counter-terror think-tank, the Henry Jackson Society, said regarding the situation. “We already have enough problems with home-grown terrorist threats, without having to import others to join them.”