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Exploiting the London Attack Electorally!

Updated on December 1, 2019

Two days after the stabbing that killed two people on Friday at London Bridge, Johnson accused the opposition Labor Party of being behind a law that allowed the aggressor (Osman Khan) to enjoy parole.

In an article published in the British newspaper Mail on Sunday, the Conservative leader declared that "this (judicial) organisation must end – I repeat, it must end", in the midst of an election campaign in preparation for the legislative vote expected on 12 December.

"If you are convicted of a serious terrorist crime, you must have a mandatory prison sentence of at least 14 years, and some must never get out", Johnson said. He added that "the condemnation of all crimes of terrorism and extremism (...) These criminals must serve every day of their sentence, without exception". The Prime Minister also said that similar measures would have avoided the attack claimed by ISIS, saying, "Give me a majority (parliamentary), protect you from terrorism".

Osman Khan was released from prison in 2018, six years after being convicted of terrorism-related offences. Osman Khan was sentenced to an indefinite prison term in 2012, with a minimum of eight years. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison on appeal in 2013 for belonging to a group that wanted to blow up targets in London. On Friday, he began his attack at the Fishmongers Center, where he was participating in a prisoner rehabilitation lecture organized by Cambridge University in a building very close to London Bridge in the center of the British capital, where another ISIS attack in 2017 killed eight people.

Appropriate Surveillance

Johnson, speaking through the BBC, said that "about 74" other terrorist convicts had benefited from early release like Osman Khan and had been subjected to "appropriate surveillance" since the attack. But Johnson's remarks quickly drew criticism that he wanted to use the tragedy and come up with proposals that were not included in the Conservative Party's platform he announced at the end of November.

David Merritt Tweet

Johnson was criticized by the victim's father, Jack Merritt, whose death has not been officially confirmed. Marret, 25, is a member of the Cambridge Institute of Criminology and was the coordinator of the "Learning Together" programme aimed at bringing the academic and prison world closer together. Friday's lecture was sponsored by this program. David Merritt said in a tweet: «We do not need uncalculated reactions», referring to «the destruction of the probation service, which is supposed to monitor the prisoners after their release, as well as rehabilitation services». Since the Conservatives became prime minister in 2010, these constituencies have suffered significant budget cuts and "we are therefore less secure," Merritt said.

"In the midst of an election, we must not benefit politically from a tragedy," Liberal Democrat deputy chairman Ed Davey said in an interview on Sky News. Foreign Minister Dominique Rapp, in an effort to defend the Conservatives, said that "no one can believe that taking appropriate measures to protect... It would in any way be a political recruitment of juveniles.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Hafiz Muhamamd Adnan

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