Control orders renewed for another year

British lawmakers agreed Thursday to allow a house arrest program for suspected terrorists to continue for another year, but warned the system could begin to resemble Guantanamo Bay unless time limits are introduced.

Legislators voted 267-60 in favor of extending until March 2009 the government’s control orders regime, used to monitor suspects who are considered a risk to national security but have not been charged with a criminal offense.

Fifteen people are currently kept under the regime, some of whom have been monitored for three years. They must observe strict curfews, wear an electronic tag, and can be banned from meeting certain individuals or from using cell phones and the Internet.

Home Office minister Tony McNulty said the government needs to use control orders to monitor suspects in cases where law enforcement cannot produce sufficient evidence to lay charges.



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