By Beverley Rouse, Press Association
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Terror legislation was used to stop a British climate change activist from travelling to Denmark, it has emerged.
Chris Kitchen, 31, said he was prevented from crossing the border on Tuesday at about 5pm when the coach he was travelling on stopped at the Folkestone terminal of the Channel Tunnel.
Mr Kitchen told the Guardian that police officers boarded the coach and, after checking all passengers' passports, took him and another climate activist to be interviewed under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a clause which enables border officials to stop and search individuals to determine if they are connected to terrorism.
He was asked what he intended to do in Copenhagen and also about his family, work and past political activity.
Mr Kitchen said he pointed out that anti-terrorist legislation did not apply to environmental activists but said the officer replied that terrorism "could mean a lot of things".
His coach had left by the time his 30-minute interview had finished and police paid for a ticket for him to return to London.
Mr Kitchen said he believed the officials knew his name and had planned to remove him before they boarded the coach as passports were not initially scanned.
"The use of anti-terrorist legislation like this is another example of political policing, of the government harassing and intimidating people practising their hard earned democratic rights," he told the Guardian.” …