Some thoughts on human rights reporting and its discontents

This is a longer version of the blog I wrote for the Oxford Human Rights Hub, which you can see here, on the hierarchy of human rights and human rights reporting: 

http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/?p=5002

This followed on from my talk for Wadham College, Oxford University, on human rights journalism generally, and how it is evolving in the age of the Internet. 

http://www.wadham.ox.ac.uk/news/2014/march/an-uncertain-future-for-human-rights-reporting

Whilst I applaud so much of the human rights reporting that takes place in the world, it paints on a large canvas. We think of it being about combating the death penalty, pointing out human rights violations in combat zones and protecting the rights of asylum seekers – all noble aims that I fully support. But when human rights journalism – and human rights – inconvenience us or affect our property rights, things become a little more uncomfortable. So here’s my thoughts on that – comments please. 

Is there a hierarchy of human rights and human rights reporting?

Looking back over my many years of writing and making films about human rights issues, I’m struck by which stories and groups get the most publicity and which stories are more difficult to fund, write and make. I believe that just as there is a hierarchy of rights, as discussed by human rights scholars for many decades, there is also a hierarchy of human rights reporting.

 

War reporting and the human rights violations that occur in conflict zones, are seen as what one might call ‘classic’ human rights journalism. It’s dangerous work. Last year, the International Federation of Journalists estimated that over 100 journalists and media workers were directly killed because of their work – and around half of that number were engaged in human rights reporting.

 

http://www.ifj.org/en/articles/108-journalists-killed-in-2013-to-test-un-day-to-end-impunity-francais-espanol

 

I was one of the many journalists who travelled to Rwanda after the genocide that killed at least 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994. (It’s noteworthy that the killing of the Pygmy people, the Twa, was far less covered.) I was there in 1997, to record the aftermath, with BBC Panorama and the film we made, Valentina’s Story, produced by Mike Robinson and reported by Fergal Keane, is a classic piece of human rights reporting. It drew attention to the genocide through the eyes of one child survivor. In 1999 I went back with Fergal, as a BBC Newsnight producer, to make two more classic human rights films, gathering evidence on rights violations during the genocide that could be forwarded to the Arusha War Crimes Tribunal. This kind of journalism is done today by dedicated correspondents throughout the world – from CNN to Al Jazeera, to the BBC and to PBS, in war and conflict zones as various as the Central Africa Republic, Syria and many areas of the Middle East. It’s crucial that such journalism continues.

 

I have moved on to smaller scale, intimate human rights journalism that I also consider important, but which is far less well funded and at times controversial. I think this is because the very rights of those under fire are seen as questionable and not mainstream – even by those inside the human rights field. This means that the funding for reporting on them, and the importance ascribed to them is far less – what one might call inconvenient and unpopular human rights journalism. I think this is a pity.

 

In 2012 I looked at how human rights organisations wrote and campaigned on disability rights for Amnesty International’s magazine. I found that few saw them as central to their work – in fact, in the drop-down menu of rights on the Amnesty International’s website, disability was not mentioned as a category – unlike childrens’ rights, gay and lesbian rights, women’s rights and refugee rights. Happily, at the annual general meeting last year, it was overwhelmingly decided to remedy this. Disabled peoples’ rights are still seen as segregated from other rights – as if human rights groups mirror some of the divisions between disabled people and non-disabled people in Britain today. During the Leveson Inquiry, similarly, despite a campaign by disabled people and their organisations, none were called to give oral evidence on how they were treated in the media, something I and many others wrote and campaigned about at the time.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/may/08/leveson-willful-blindness-disabled-people

 

 Leveson did, however, take oral evidence from women’s rights organizations, transgender organizations, and refugee organisations – something I completely agreed with – but I did not agree with the lack of oral evidence from disabled peoples’ organisations. Eventually, some campaigners (I was one of them) were invited to give written evidence, but it is disappointing that this division was so evident in such a key inquiry, when the stereotyping of disabled people by certain sections of the media, especially around benefit cuts, is clearly evidenced to have caused a worsening of public attitudes towards them.

 

http://www.inclusionlondon.co.uk/bad-news-for-disabled-people-report-reveals-extent-of-media-misrepresentation

 

This lack of understanding of the discrimination faced by disabled people meant that it took many years for me and others to get the real and pressing issue of disability hate crime recognized. The key intervention of Lord Ken Macdonald, then the Director of Public Prosecutions, who called disability hate crime a ‘scar on the conscience’ of the criminal justice system was one of the reasons why that change happened – but it was a long time coming, and human rights organisations are still playing catch-up when it comes to integrating disability rights into a wider rights agenda.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7655244.stm

 

Disability rights can be seen as inconvenient to the general public (think of wheelchair spaces on buses, and how they become contested spaces with parents with pushchairs, for example) and this attitude is mirrored in journalism itself.

 

Lastly, we come on to unpopular human rights journalism – and this is where I would place the rights of Britain’s nomads, which come into conflict with another highly cherished set of British rights – property rights. Essentially the rights of Britain’s nomads to enjoy a life free from discrimination, to enjoy the right to family life, the right to education, the right to vote, the right to a decent standard of living and housing come into conflict with British planning law. This was played out in Court 76 of the High Court on October 12, 2011, as I reported for the Economist, when the Dale Farm Irish Traveller residents lost a crucial legal battle against their eviction.  I wrote at the time: “Dale Farm has become a symbol of an increasingly bitter dispute about the rights of Gypsies and Travellers, around a fifth of whom have nowhere legal to live. Basildon council argues that it is simply enforcing planning law, by which all citizens must abide. This was echoed by Mr Justice Ouseley. He said that there must be “public respect for and confidence in” planning law, and that although Basildon council had not identified alternative pitches where the travellers could live, those deemed homeless had been offered “bricks and mortar” accommodation. The decision by Dale Farm residents to decline such housing, due to their “cultural aversion” to it, he said, was their own responsibility. He pointed out that the Travellers were breaching the law by remaining on site.”

 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2011/10/dale-farm

 

The eviction of Dale Farm left some 86 families without a secure home, and cost Basildon Council millions of pounds. Many of the families still live roadside, in poor conditions. Basildon was right in legal terms, but who has won? Children are no longer in school, mothers are on anti-depressants, families do not have running water and local tax-payers are footing an enormous bill. There has to be a better way of honouring property rights than creating a situation in which the human rights of these particular Traveller families are so completely ignored, three years on. But such views are unpopular, and the rights of Britain’s nomads are questioned, constantly. Those who seek to defend their rights find it hard to get commissions. This is unpopular human rights journalism – but it is important, all the same.

 

I am grateful for all the journalism I’ve been able to do, over so many years – from Rwanda to Dale Farm, to small-scale human rights stories for Private Eye. That’s our job and it’s worthwhile – at all its levels: popular, unpopular, inconvenient and small scale. But the hierarchy does make me uncomfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

Wadham Human Rights Forum talk

I enjoyed doing my talk at the Wadham Human Rights Forum at Oxford University, on how human rights journalism is evolving in the age of the Internet – and how to fund the new human rights journalism. The Forum has had some wonderful thinkers visit – from Clive Stafford-Smith to James Harding, former editor of the Times and some great human rights scholars. I was honoured to be one of their number. 

Lord Macdonald, who is now the Warden of Wadham, is also the former Director of Public Prosecutions and a really doughty defender of human rights. His work within the criminal justice system, to uphold the rights of the individual against the state, remains so important and ground-breaking. Now, at Wadham, he is encouraging young people from modest backgrounds to aspire to Oxbridge – also a radical aim – and also encouraging disabled students to reach high.

You can see it here – I’ve also suggested some links to some interesting thinkers on the future – both journalists and techies. 

http://www.wadham.ox.ac.uk/news/2014/march/an-uncertain-future-for-human-rights-reporting

 

 

No Place to Call Home – Award news

I was really pleased to hear that No Place to Call Home has been shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing 2014. 

Trustee for the Bread & Roses Nik Górecki says: 

“We had a record number of submissions this year, and from an ever-growing range of publishers, which has made for a very strong shortlist. I’m delighted to see the prize growing in recognition.” 

This award recognises books that “celebrate excellence in the field of radical political non-fiction”. 

The Shortlist
‘Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police’
by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
(Faber and Faber, 2013)

‘Soldier Box: Why I Won’t Return to the War on Terror’
by Joe Glenton
(Verso, 2013)

‘Story of a Death Foretold: The Coup against Salvador Allende, 11 September 1973′
by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera
(Bloomsbury, 2013)

‘Who Needs the Cuts? : Myths of the Economic Crisis’
by Barry Kushner and Saville Kushner
(Hesperus Press, 2013)

‘No Place to Call Home: Inside the Real Lives of Gypsies and Travellers’
by Katharine Quarmby
(Oneworld, 2013)

‘Cancel the Apocalypse: The New Path to Prosperity’
by Andrew Simms
(Little, Brown, 2013)

‘Revolting Subjects: Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain’
by Imogen Tyler
(Zed Books, 2013)

Congratulations to all the other authors on the shortlist, particularly those whose work I have followed and admired for some time, including Imogen Tyler and Rob Evans (I’ve even collaborated with Rob in the past). 

The winner will be announced on 10th May at a ceremony at the Bishopsgate  Institute, during the London Radical Bookfair 

Thanks to my publishers, my agent, the Society of Authors (who gave me a grant to help me finish the book) and the many Romani, Roma and Traveller families I interviewed for the book. 

More info on the award here: 

http://www.bread-and-roses.co.uk

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/shortlist-bread-and-roses-award-revealed.html

 

 

 

 

Speaking engagements 2014

I’ll keep adding to the list, but here’s a few engagements I’m doing in the next few months:

March 4, 2014: – free event on disability hate crime in Mattishall, Norfolk: 9-1.30pm

http://www.voluntarynorfolk.org.uk/events/162/towards-a-hate-free-norfolk

March 11, 2014: – Wadham College, Oxford: 5.30pm

http://www.wadham.ox.ac.uk/events/2014/march/reporting-human-rights- I’ll be talking about human rights journalism as part of their Human Rights Forum series

May 5-6, 2014 – Lillehammer, Norway – I’ll be giving a key note speech on media reporting of disability hate crime to the Norwegian Network of Disability 

http://www.cvent.com/events/nnff-6-forskningskonferanse/faqs-20ad7e72f24847f4a363e231c61c939f.aspx

May 27, 2014 (tbc) – Hay Festival, Herefordshire – event with Travellers Times editor, writer and poet  Damian Le Bas and Marcel Berlins

June 4 2014 (tbc) – Holloway Festival, London – Connecting Conversations – Meet Your Neighbours – in conversation with psychoanalyst Valerie Sinason

Word Festival, 2014 (dates tbc) – performances of Rosy Gets the Plot with the Little Angel Puppet Theatre, based on my original text of the same name

http://www.islington.gov.uk/services/libraries/readingforlife/whatsonreaders/Pages/wordfest.aspx

22 November 2014, 5pm- Law Faculty, Oxford University: Panel discussion: Building on the Paralympic Legacy: Equal Rights, Autonomy and Participation in Public Life. Moderated by Lord Macdonald QC.

 

Remembering Rwanda – twenty years on: kwibuka20

A gerbera bloomed in the convent garden, next to a simple cross. A fly, buzzing, crawled up the cross. Images like this one, or the grove of eucalyptus trees outside the town, where the twenty children who had taken shelter in the convent had been taken, been murdered and buried. Or the doorway through which I saw the nun still sitting, after our interview, perfectly outlined, head bowed, as she remembered those dead.

I’m one of the many journalists who was privileged to visit Rwanda and chronicle some of the aftermath of the genocide. I was there twice, once in 1997, three years after the genocide, with Panorama, as a young assistant producer, with Fergal Keane, Tony Wende, Mike Spooner and Mike Robinson. We travelled back to Nyarubuye, the scene of one of the many horrifying massacres, where men, women and children were murdered after taking sanctuary in a church. Fergal had been there shortly after the massacre and we went back to find one of the child survivors, Valentina. The story we had almost told – a general story about the genocide, all over Rwanda – was ditched. It became Valentina’s Story (the title of the documentary). Valentina became our Everywoman. After it was screened, we got letters and emails from all over the world – some with cheques in them. I ended up being Valentina’s banker for a while and eventually handed over the money to the Survivor’s Charity to administer for her. It put Valentina through nursing college. A very small consolation for the genocide, but a lovely and heartfelt gesture, that people all over the world sent that money. We also gave a more general donation to the village from other donors who wanted a less specific donation.

I went back with Fergal with Newsnight, in 1999, this time as his producer. Again, images remain from the visit. At some point on one of these trips we interviewed a journalist from Rwandan TV, who pulled me into an edit suite with the cameraman (the wonderful Ian Pritchard) and asked us to look at some footage. It was the stuff of nightmares. A woman, lying by a roadside, throat cut, filmed as she lay dying. There were other such images, but she has remained with me. The journalist told us that this was done to encourage the killing. The plan was to transmit the images – but the TV station was captured before it could be done.

So, in the year when we remember the 20th genocide, I hope my attempt to honour the dead – and I should stress that I am intending to give much of the sales to Rwandan charities – in the short story I have written about the aftermath of such horror, is useful, respectful.

Kwibuka20.

Migration Stories – From Belgrade, Brussels and Barcelona (and Tehran) – to Bungay and Beccles

I wrote this blog a couple of weeks ago for the think-tank Respublica and was pleased to see how many positive comments it got on Twitter and other social media sites. It’s essentially a slice of family history – both my mother (adoptive) and I have roots both in the UK and abroad. My mum comes from a long line of international trouble-makers. Her grandfather, Kosta Bozic, a Serbian cleric, stood trial along at Banja Luka in 1916, in an infamous trial connected to the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand, was sentenced to death, and eventually died of TB, a national hero. Her other grand-father was a Spanish socialist MP, Fernando Garrido, who also spent much time hopping across European borders to escape arrest (not always successfully). Such histories are one that curdle the blood of our more anti-immigration politicians, of course. They think that such people or their descendants -my mum in this case – should never be allowed to settle here. Judge for yourself. 

Immigration week: Stories, statistics and stereotyping

Katharine Quarmby calls for greater perspective in the Immigration debate

In 1946 a young, half Serbian, quarter Spanish girl arrived in the UK on a Cessna plane from Belgrade. She spoke only Serbo-Croat. She had seen her Jewish friends carted off to the concentration camps and her mother’s hair had turned white with the effort of keeping her alive during the wartime years in Yugoslavia. Her mother had left her husband behind in Yugoslavia and flown, pregnant, to the UK. Mara Bozic, as she was called then, and her mother Isabel, had but a tenuous claim on British citizenship, according to the Home Office. Isabel’s mother was English by birth, but her father had been a Spanish artist (and his father before him a well-known Spanish Republic MP). The Home Office was not convinced of their claim to reside in the UK. The resident English family offered to pay a bond, and thus Mara Bozic, age 10, became a British citizen, lost a father and her first language, gained a newborn sister and became Mary Bozic. She grew up in Cambridge. Her mother, now a lone parent with a tiny baby, somehow managed to support both her girls by teaching at the Convent School and other jobs, such as, rather improbably, typing up one of Wittgenstein’s manuscripts. Later, that older daughter attended teacher-training college and, one summer, worked at Chivers jam factory in Cambridge as an 18 year old to earn much needed money. She met a young Yorkshire man, a Cambridge student also in need of money. They fell in love over an assembly line of Christmas pudding trays. Later they got married.

They had three sons, and that young Yorkshire history graduate, the first in his family to attend university, became a promising teacher. Later, the young woman became a talented teacher too. They wanted to put something back into society, and they wanted a girl, so they decided to adopt a daughter. They didn’t care what colour the baby was, they told the adoption society, so they were offered a three-month-old ‘coloured’ child, a half Persian girl who was, at that time, ‘hard to place’. (Most adoptive parents then didn’t want a child of uncertain racial heritage. Most ended up in children’s’ homes.) The birth father, an Iranian sailor who desperately wanted to keep the child and take her back to Iran, was not allowed to do so. He was forced to relinquish her and later he experienced imprisonment and torture during the Iranian Revolution. Luckily for me – that baby –  those two young idealists became my parents, and those boys, my brothers – although I count myself very lucky to have met my birth family too.

So there are two generations with somewhat tenuous claims to citizenship, in our family, although it must seem very British to the casual observer. My parents are pillars of the local community – retired teachers now, who still volunteer at local schools and who have given selflessly of their time throughout their entire lives, to public service. My parents are churchgoers and bell-ringers – the very bedrock of rural society. My mum has even served on the planning committee of the parish council, striking fear into the heart of many a local builder with her forensic attention to their plans. Britain – by way of Belgrade and Barcelona.

And yet – in many ways my grandmother brought my mother here because she was, in the words of our tabloids, an ‘economic migrant’. My grandmother was desperate. She was pregnant. She had nowhere else to go. I, too, was a ‘half-caste’ child with just half a hand on British citizenship when I was born. Our right to be here was perhaps a little questionable – and yet I think we have served our country pretty well – as many who pitch up here do. And while our stories might seem a little strange, the story of why each family or individual ends up on these shores is probably equally extraordinary or even more so. To give but one more example, there’s my dear Ethiopian friend, a singer, who fled the civil war as a child of 14, when her parents were killed, and was brought here by another family – and then abandoned on a tube. On a tube. At fourteen. At night. When my fourteen-year-old daughter slopes off to bed, in a comfortable house, surrounded by those who love her, I remember that. My friend has done so much for other people since she arrived here, yet some people would – and do – write her off as a scrounger who has no right to be here. I disagree. I think all of us have served the community in which we live well. Many migrants and refugees do so – and will continue to do so, given half a chance.

Behind every phrase that belittles every migrant and every refugee is a family and a history that seeks to be told. Often, as in my case, there are links with the UK. Sometimes there are not, but there is often a wish to forge links, or to work hard to make them. When my Spanish great-grandfather first came to the UK as an artist, he painted with the Staines group of artists. We still have the letters of condolence to his wife, when he died of TB in Switzerland, from British artists who had met him here and recognized his talent. There is nothing wrong with having a generous and international view of the world, of travelling beyond the shores where one is born. Is there? I sometimes think that this insularity that is gaining ground here is a hangover from the war, and that we have never recovered from winning that conflict. One of the prizes of victory has been a most unfortunate one – a rupture with continental European culture that has been profound and that has left us unable to understand and appreciate what we gain from mixing with other cultures, and that we have become increasingly xenophobic as a result. This is not why we went to war – to fear and dislike other cultures. This is not why my mother lost her Yugoslavian uncle, the Jewish friends she used to dance ballet with, or indeed the family lands in what was Yugoslavia. This is not why millions of people were murdered or gave their lives fighting for freedom and human rights for all – to safeguard the rights of disabled people, the Roma, Jewish people and gay people to live alongside other citizens as equals in a new Europe. But it seems to be an unintended and negative consequence of that victory.

We seem to have forgotten, in our latest moral panic, that we are one of the richest nations in the world, and that the migrants who do arrive on our shores are far more likely to want to work hard for their living than draw benefits – far more, in fact, than many British citizens. Many employers bear witness to this. There is nothing wrong with wiping bottoms, laying out the dead, cleaning toilets, collecting scrap and working in the fields. But if some British workers don’t want to do it, you cannot blame British employers for looking elsewhere for an eager workforce (although you can blame them if they then exploit that workforce).

In January visa restrictions will be lifted for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to come here. Cue the rising moral panic about chaos in our schools, rocketing crime, baby-stealing and general anti-Roma rhetoric – both by journalists and politicians. The Roma and the way that they are talked about is the litmus paper for how all immigration is talked about (although it’s worth noting, by the by, that C4’s Homeland, now openly stirs up dislike of Iranians). I will be watching how politicians and the media report on the Roma very carefully over the next few months and will be doing what I can to redress the balance, as will the Romani journalists I’ve worked with over the last seven years, as I researched my latest book, No Place to Call Home. Suffice it to say that a nation of several million people can’t be lazily stereotyped, as it has been so far, here in the UK, without distorting reality. The truth about the Roma people is far more interesting, more layered – and full of rich, individual stories – than we’ve heard so far. We would do well, for a start, to remember the Roma history – which includes slavery in Eastern Europe, the gas ovens during the Holocaust, hangings, floggings and deportations here in the UK, enforced adoption here and in Scotland and enforced sterilization in Eastern Europe.

My suggestion, therefore, in the coming months, for politicians and journalists would be two-fold: use statistics wisely and not mendaciously. Thus far many statistics about immigration are hotly argued. Surely it’s possible to agree on numbers, prevalence, data, and move on from there. And, secondly, if you are going to make generalisations about people, please go and talk to them. It is the height of incivility to stereotype a whole nation, as both journalists and politicians have done about the Roma people, for instance, without actually meeting them and spending time with them. In conclusion, therefore, get both your stories and your statistics straight. Then we can have the debate we should have about immigration. At the moment we’re not having a debate; too many in this arena are indulging in dirty propaganda wars. That’s not the same thing at all. And it belittles our reputation for honesty, integrity and generosity as a nation – and our place in Europe – if we don’t mend our ways.

- See more at: http://www.respublica.org.uk/item/A-week-of-Immigration-Stories-statistics-and-stereotyping#sthash.ab6Gl0B6.dpuf

Attorney General’s Letter to Disability Hate Crime Network re Bijan Ebrahimi case

This is the letter I received (on behalf of the Disability Hate Crime Network) from the Attorney General, in which he explains his reasons not to refer the sentences imposed on those involved with the case of Bijan Ebrahimi to the Court of Appeal.

I’m glad it’s a comprehensive reply, but I’m sorry the sentences were not referred. I’ve thought a lot about this case over the last few weeks, and have a few observations. One is, as I’ve said before, that we need good quality perpetrator analysis of disability hate crime offenders to understand motivation better. Secondly, I would advocate FBI style information on the crimes and offenders being more readily available – locations, ethnicities, etc etc. This would enable potential victims to conduct their own risk analysis of situations more readily. Perhaps it would even lead to better intelligence led policing.

Most importantly, however, I think that this case should lead to a major police reform whereby if a police force considers that it may have failed a murder victim and refers itself to the IPCC after death it should then have the murder investigation removed from it. This would mean that the investigation could be more wide-ranging. In the Avon and Somerset case the police force stated that it could find no evidence that the crime was motivated by disability hatred. If it had found such evidence, of course, that would have damned the force yet further. So it had a direct interest in not looking for such evidence – if it was there. That meant it did not ask for Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act to be applied either for race or disability hatred which would have led to longer sentences. So I think in future cases a neighbouring force should take over the ensuing investigation to look for all evidence that might show evidence of the police not doing their job properly before the murder and missing repeated harassment. One to ponder.

LETTER FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL – DATED 3 JANUARY 2014

Dear Ms Quarmby

Thank you for your email on behalf of the Disability Hate Crime Network asking the Attorney General to review the sentences imposed on Lee James and Stephen Norley. James pleaded guilty to the murder of Bijan Ebrahimi and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years. Norley pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment.

The Attorney General has carefully considered the sentences imposed and has decided not to refer either sentence to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient because he does not think the Court would increase the sentences.

As you may know, the Attorney General has the power to refer sentences imposed in the Crown Court for certain offences to the Court of Appeal if he considers they are unduly lenient. It is then for the Court of Appeal to determine whether the sentence is unduly lenient and, if so, whether to increase it. The Court of Appeal will not interfere with a sentence unless it is outside the range of sentences it was reasonable for the judge to have passed.

The Court of Appeal’s review of a sentence is based on the material which was before the sentencing judge and the Attorney General has to take that into account when he reviews a sentence. In other words he has to look at the basis on which the case was presented to the court below. In this case the prosecution made it clear that there was no evidence that the offenders were motivated by hostility towards Mr Ebrahimi’s race or disability when the offence was committed. The prosecution did not consider there was any evidence in this case that the false accusation against Mr Ebrahimi that he was a paedophile was related to his disability. There was therefore no basis on which to argue that the offences ought to have been treated as hate crime.

The sentencing judge did find that this was a vigilante crime characterised by bullying and victimisation and he increased the sentences to take account of that, and other aggravating factors. The Attorney General concluded that the judge approached the sentencing exercise properly and took all relevant factors into account.

I hope this helps to explain why the Attorney General decided that it would not be appropriate to refer these sentences to the Court of Appeal.

Yours sincerely

Correspondence Unit