Liberty eyes demo rights on Bush visit

Human rights charity Liberty says it will monitor how protesters are treated by police at the demonstrations planned during President Bush's state visit.

"It doesn't look as if there will be a massive infringement of the right to protest," said Liberty spokesman Barry Hughill. "But we will be sending observers along."

He said Liberty had won assurances from deputy assistant commissioner Andy Trotter of the Metropolitan Police that he doesn't anticipate the use of the Terrorism Act against protesters, which was invoked during a recent arms fair.

He also said Liberty had succeeded in helping to fend off proposals from Washington to prevent demonstrators entering large areas of central London, with only Whitehall and Parliament Square expected to be closed.

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