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Amnesty launches sleepwalking ad to back petition against terror legislation

LONDON - Amnesty International warns people not to sleepwalk into an assault on their basic human rights in an ad, voiced by former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston, against the Government's plans to extend detention without charge to 42 days.

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The online ad, directed by Dark Fibre with a soundtrack by The Orb, features people walking through the streets in a zombie-like state towards a prison.

It ends by calling on people to sign an online petition urging MPs to oppose the 42-day proposal.

To launch the film, Amnesty International has organised a "mass sleepwalk" through the streets of Leeds tonight, with people wearing dressing gowns and slippers and clutching pillows and blankets to highlight its sleepwalking message.

After the new film is given its first public screening, the audience will hear speeches from Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen and 7/7 bombing survivor Rachel North.

Amnesty is specifically calling on MPs who did not support previous proposals for 90 days pre-charge detention, but did vote for 42 days in June, to oppose 42 days this time around.

Allen said: "There's a real danger that people in Britain are sleepwalking into an assault on our human rights. This film is Amnesty's wake up call -- we have got to stand up for our basic freedoms.

"Giving the authorities the power to lock someone up for a month and a half without even charging them would strip people of human rights that protect every one of us in this country."

North said: "When people find out that I'm a survivor of the July 7 London bombings, they expect me to be in favour of giving the Government powers to lock up people merely suspected of terrorism for weeks without charge. No way.

"I expect terrorists to try to divide us, to make us afraid and to attack our freedoms. I don't expect it from our democratically-elected representatives."

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