press release about

P.R. from Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK), For Immediate Release - 3 June 1997

`UK Nottinghamshire County Council in bid to stop Internet publication of controversial child abuse report.'

The Joint Enquiry Report into the 1988 Broxtowe Case, the inside story of UK's first `Satanic Ritual Abuse' case has now been published for the first time on the Internet by three UK journalists (Nick Anning, David Hebditch and Margaret Jervis). The report which was written in 1989 by a joint enquiry team (JET) of police and social workers in the aftermath of the Broxtowe Case is being made available on the Internet in the hope that an informed readership will be able to draw its own conclusions.

But Nottinghamshire County Council has threatened See threatened the three journalists with legal action if they fail to remove the controversial JET Report from their Internet Web Site on the ground that any copying of the report is an infringement of the Nottinghamshire County Council's copyright in Britain and the report has been withdrawn from its original place on Tuesday afternoon (03 June 1997) but provides links to the mirror sites.

Nick Anning, David Hebditch and Margaret Jervis stated in their press release on May 30 while launching the report on the Internet that:

`The report is a fascinating insight into the origins of "satanic abuse" and could have done much to prevent later cases such as Rochdale and the Orkneys. But, in spite of having a revised edition drafted for wider publication, Notts Social Services suppressed the JET Report and the enquiry team members were forbidden to speak about their findings.'
The three journalists also stated that:
`The then director of social services and the chief constable set up a joint team to review the evidence regarding satanism and make recommendations. The team soon determined that the only satanism in the case had been introduced by social workers in concert with a Birmingham child abuse consultant and a television journalist..... In contrast, social worker proponents of the "satanic abuse" theory were free to conduct a national campaign and scores of families throughout the country were unjustifiably accused of crimes ranging from ritual abuse to human sacrifice.'
J B Gwatkin one of the authors of the original report stated that:
`The Report's conclusions and recommendations were ignored. The Report had warned that if the presentations of ritual abuse information were not stopped there was the likelihood of a "witch-hunt" developing which would result in grave injustice and further harm to the children concerned by professional staff.'
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) has received a request from the three journalists to help them to set up a mirror page over the Internet. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) could not mirrror the site as they may face the same actions of the Nottinghamshire County Council but issued a call to the on-line community late last night for setting up mirror sites all around the world and the online community responded so quickly to mirror the notorious JET Report. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) will monitor the mirrors and provide up-to-date information related to the Court case as well at their site.

Yaman Akdeniz, head of the Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) group stated that:

`This report deserves attention and should be available to the public at large. We are grateful to the people who have decided to mirror the site and this will once again show that global censorship of the Internet is futile and not possible.'
Professor Peter Junger of Case Western Reserve University Law SchoolCleveland who is monitoring the web page at his site stated that:
`The Report that the Nottingham County Council hopes to suppress is important to an understanding of how the hysteria about `Satanism and child abuse' appears to have been spread in the United States as well as in the U.K. with the connivance of the public authorities; the idea that the publication of this important document on the Internet violates the County Council's copyright is preposterous.'
The central question remains as whether the JET Report had been made more widely available to social workers and police in 1990 would these cases have been handled differently?

Mirror Web Sites so far:

See mirror1, See mirror2,
See mirror3, See mirror4.
Contact Information:
Mr Yaman Akdeniz Address: Centre For Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT. Telephone: 0113-2335033 Fax: 0113- 2335056 E-mail: lawya@leeds.ac.uk Url: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/law/pgs/yaman/yaman.htm
Notes for the media:
The report Nottinghamshire Social Services doesn't want you to read can be reached through the list of mirror sites provided at: DLHeb's site or Yaman's site.
Broxtowe Case involved Britain's largest ever prosecution of multi-generational incest in which the defendants received sentences of up to ten years is being made available on the Internet in the hope that an informed readership will be able to draw its own conclusions.
The version of the report published on the World Wide Web in the public interest identifies neither the victims nor the family at the centre of the Broxtowe Case. The author of this version, John Gwatkin, formerly an Area Director for Notts Social Services, approves its publication and has a written a special introduction which is also on the Web Site.
Yaman Akdeniz <lawya@leeds.ac.uk>
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) at:
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