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Women take case against spycops to the UN

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CEDAW, Metropolitan Police, women's right to protest, spycopsThe women still have not had any explanation as to why they in particular were targeted.

Seven women psychologically and sexually abused by undercover policemen who infiltrated UK protest groups have lodged a complaint to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

All seven were targeted by officers from Britain’s political secret police units in relationships that by their nature were psychologically and sexually abusive – and the most complete invasion of privacy it is possible for the state to enact.

In 2015 the Metropolitan Police apologised to the seven and agreed that the practice ‘caused significant trauma…

‘…it was a gross violation and also accept that it may well have reflected attitudes towards women that should have no part in the culture of the Metropolitan Police…

‘…some officers may have preyed on the women’s good nature and had manipulated their emotions to a gratuitous extent.’

The fact that they were abused in very similar ways by five different officers over a period of 25 years indicates that this was not rogue officers but was a conscious strategy on the part of the spycops units.

And despite the Metropolitan Police’s apology in 2015, the women still have not had any real answers or explanation of why they in particular were targeted.

This has been compounded by the government’s protection of the abusers.

The government has failed to prosecute or discipline any of the officers concerned or their managers, and refused to amend UK law to unambiguously make such relationships an offence.

The government has also failed to name other officers from the units who may have also abused women in this way.

The women complain that the government has failed to prevent institutionalised discrimination against women by the police.

The institutional sexism of the Metropolitan Police is apparent in looking at who was targeted; most of the known officers were men, and all of the long-term intimate relationships were male officers abusing female citizens.

The UK is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

And as one of the first complaints of its kind made to the committee, the case stands to trigger a potential investigation and finding against the UK government.

“Our central aim in bringing this case is to make sure that these abusive relationships are not allowed to happen again,” Helen Steel, one of the women behind the case, said.

“The repeated use of women in this way by undercover policemen is a form of discrimination against women and a barrier to women’s rights to participate in protest activity.”

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