03/12/2012 Newsnight


Are multinationals backing down on tax avoidance? Lord Saatchi on the cancer that killed his wife, and why Libyan women seek asylum in Britain. Presented by Jeremy Paxman.

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Suppose you sat in cafe, went on- line, and bought a Christmas


present, and that neither the company that sold you the coffee,


the search engine that found your retailer, or the retailer itself,


paid as much tax as many politicians think it should pay,


would you mind? In increasingly straightened times,


the way some multinationals minimise their taxes has become


hugely charged. The Government still aren't doing anything about


it. That is their job. It is just ridiculous that they still haven't


acted. As the Chancellor talks of


crackingdown, is what's legal the same as what's moral, and if not,


can the citizen change the corporation?


Maurice Saatchi lost his wife to cancer, now he wants to change the


law, if recommended treatment doesn't cure, should doctors be


free to try something else? The women of the Libyan revolution,


now victim to some of the Islamist militias, once on their side.


He was hittinging me with his feet and HIStory gun, he was calling me


an Israeli, an Israeli spy, calling A statement today announced that


the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant. We won't mention it again,


promise. We were rather taken with the statement from a Parliamentary


Committee that some of the best known multinationals operating in


this country were being immoral. In not paying more tax.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer, meanwhile, talks tough about, as he


puts it, going after companies which aggressively avoid tax. The


problem with all this blow-Hardtalk, is that the tax officials in this


country, seem to have no objections to arrangements which mean that a


multinational corporation like Amazon, can make sales of �3.4


billion in the UK, but pay just �2 million in corporation tax. But is


legal the same as moral? Politicians, bankers, the press,


they have all been under the spotlight, now it is the turn of


major corporates in the public gaze over their tax apayers. Starbucks,


Facebook, Google and Amazon, apart from all being American, they have


all created a reputation of legally avoiding tax. In parliament last


month, MPs didn't pull any punches, while executives floundered. I will


come back to the committee, and it is possible to show that figure,


disclose that figure. Can you say that again? I will come back to the


committee andly see whether it is possible to disclose that figure.


We have not disclosed those figures ever publicly, either on a country


basis or website basis. You are either running the business very


badly, or there is some fiddle going on. We clearly are not


aggressively looking to avoid tax or tax on any structure anywhere,


we have had profitability challenges, very sincere ones,


unfortunately, that we are not pleased with. It is nothing, I


assure you, to do with tax avoidance. The committee said the


Government should get a grip and clampdown on multinationals that


exploit tax laws. It described the behaviour of large corporations as


outrageous and an insult to those who pay their fair share, and said


HMRC lacked clarity when trying to explain its approach to enforcing


the corporation tax regime. Even before the report was published,


Starbucks were signals over the weekend, that all the public


pressure and negative headlines, So why the change of heart? Weeks


of nasty Headlines, and the threat of sit-ins and direct action like


this one in Oxford Street, by protest groups like UK Uncut,


appear to have galvanised a coffee chain, worried about brand damage.


This is the Government's role. It is their job to crackdown on tax


avoidance, it is clear that the public are outraged by this.


Margaret Hodge and the PAC are outraged by this. The media is


brimming with outrage about tax avoidance, and yet the Government


still aren't doing anything about it, that is their job, it is


ridiculous that they still haven't acted. The problem is, the disabled


people, mothers, children, who are bearing the brunt of the cuts, that


is outrageous, when there is so much money that could be collected


from tax avoidance that could be put into public services.


The key to this is something called transfer pricing which allows one


part of a company to bill another part for using goods, especially


services. In general, the bit of a multinational that controls


valuable brand trade marks or patents, bases itself in a low-tax


country, lix Luxembourg, Ireland or Switzerland t can bill the sister


British company where taxes are higher, for permission to use the


trade marks or certain products. That has the effect of magnifying


the profits in Luxembourg and minimising them in Britain, thus


cutting the amount of tax paid here. Finally the profits left over in


Luxembourg or other low-tax country, get sent back to the States where


it cannot be taxed a second time. Britain has signed tax treaties


with 137 different countries all around the world, meaning companies


trading here and British companies trading overseas, can't be taxed


twice on the same income. So the Government is in a bind. It cannot


ignore the concerns of voters, nor too can it clampdown on the likes


of Starbucks, Google and face book, without rufpbing the risk that


overseas Governments will clampdown on the likes of RBS and BP or Glaxo.


It might be up to consumers to urge companies to pay for tax on their


profits. Consumers account for 70% of all spending in the British


economy, yet as a lobby group, they are a slumbering giant. When that


giant growls, though, big business tends to listen. Think of the


backlash when Coca-Cola tried to introduce New Coke in the 1980s,


the boycott against South African goods during the apartheid era.


More recently there was a campaign to prevent sexualised clothing


being marketed to young girls. That was co-ordinate bid one of the most


powerful consumer groups in the land, Mumsnet. It is not what I


think about things, it is what the collective thinks. Believe me there


is a myriad of voices, there is loads of dissent, lots of


discussion, and it is healthy. It is the wisdom of a crowd having


debated and debated and debated. Are you conscious of the power you


could wield against companies? think you know the reason we have


done more formal campaigns like Let Girls Be Girls, and another one


called We Believe You, getting people to understand the issues


around domestic violence and rape, is because we do realise we wield a


certain amount of influence. The moment prime ministers start


knocking on your door and asking to speak to your users, you realise


you have some influence. Despite the poet Tennessee of millions of


people thinking -- poetentcy of people discussing on-line, it is


only useful if it is acted on in the real worlds. Customers have


that effect on brand reputation if they unite together, they need to


unite on-line and make sure there is an off-line part to that


mobilisation. Only if they connect the on-line mobilisation in off-


line action, can they damage the reputation of a brand. Google,


Amazon and other multinationals in the spotlight reiterated today that


their tax affairs were fully in order, that is true, but because


the Government's hands are tied by international tax treaties t will


doubtless hope that other firms will follow Starbucks lead, and


voluntarily agree to pay for corporation tax.


We asked many of the companies accused of immorally minimising


their cushion tax bills on to tonight's programme. None of them,


includinging Starbucks, Amazon or Google, -- including Starbucks,


Amazon or Google would appear. Joining us are my guests now. The


former Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, Giles Fraser, the


tax campaigner, Ellie Mae O'Hagan, and Mark Littlewood of the


Institute of Economic Affairs. Mark Littlewood, is there any point in


George Osborne blustering about things being outrageous? No point


at all. It is as if he was announcing today that he would send


more traffic cops on to the motorway, because he doesn't like


people driving at 70 miles an hour. If he has a problem with people


driving at 70 miles an house he and his Government should cut the speed


limit. He has to be clear about what the law is. The problem here


is vagaries in the law. We can argue in these studios, and George


Osborne and Danny Alexander can release press released as long as


they like about the realities, the Government has to have a clear tax


code and it doesn't. Enforcement becomes a bit of a joke. As far as


you are concerned, there is nothing wrong with what these companies


have done, they have merely complied with the law and played --


paid what was necessary? They are operating according to the law. To


take the point, it is not just the UK tax law, it is the international


tax codes that we all need to comply with. So why are you so


upset about it? About tax avoidance. There is no tax avoidance, they are


paying what they are supposed to pay? That is a red herring to say


they are paying what they are supposed to pay. Why? There are


loopholes they are exploiting. Should they pay more? They are


supposed to pay a rate of corporation tax that they are


avoiding. They are manipulating the, as Mark said, the poorly-


constructed laws in order to use loopholes to get out of paying what


they are supposed to pay. They are not paying what they are supposed


to pay. There is a huge difference between what is moral and what is


legal. What is going on here, if you have, if you are a company that


makes and sells books, the books are printed in the UK, their


warehouseed in the UK, they are shipped out in the UK, sent to UK


customers, the invoices are printed on UK paper and sent out in the UK


but Luxembourg printed on the bottom so you pay the tax in


Luxembourg, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out


something is fundamentally wrong there. This is nonsense. Which bit


is nonsense? When you are talking about Amazon, people don't go to


their websites because they are boxed and labelled in the UK. They


go to them because they are internationally recognised as a


brand. I suggest they are cheaper? It is cheap and convenient.


recognised. If you are somebody, think of an on-line bookshop, you


can go to, Amazon has great recognition. These are not


justifications to avoid tax. People on the screen here have great brand


value. How is that an issue about tax avoidance. If you open a cinema


in London and show Hollywood blockbuster movies, like Spiderman,


what proportion of the ticket price should go to the IP property owner,


the person who owns Spiderman in America, clearly more than 0%, as


much as 5%, 10%, I'm not sure, it is precisely this argument that


Starbucks are in. If the consequence of that, is that small


book shops, for example, to take the book analogy, if they go out of


business, tough luck? They pay their taxes? There is no question


that Amazon and Starbucks are paying their taxes. Small book


shops are going out of business. Small coffee shops to the expense


of Starbucks? You don't care about that either? The market trend is


people are buying books on-line cheaper, and coffee from recognised


chains, this is a change in consumer behaviour. The interesting


thing now is Starbucks customers decide, we have had enough of you,


we will never buy coffee from you again, unless you hand over a


billion or two billion to the taxpayer, that is consumer power. A


wonderful thing in a free market and free society. We will come to


the question of consumer power. Let's explore the moral point


further, morally, is a company entitled, I know you are a tax


specialist, but is a company entitled to decide to pay more tax


regardless of its obligation to its shareholders? Arguably it is not


more tax, is it, if it is paying more tax than is legally due, that


is arguably not tax. That is the basic question. Are companies free


to do that? Well, that's a question that isn't a tax question, at all,


that is about the duties of the directors and so on. But arguably,


if it is not the legal liable tax it is not tax. The legal liable tax


is the corporation tax of Britain, if you are not paying at that rate,


you are avoiding tax. That is zero, if you have no profits. What do you


want us to do, withdraw from the European Union, is that the idea?


think this Government should introduce an anti-avoidance


principle. There is research that says you will recoup �5.5 billion


in tax, at a time of unprecedented cuts to public services it is


incumbent on the Government to do that, morally incumbent as Giles


was saying. Could that work? think we are going to get one.


we will get an anti-abuse principle, the research shows that won't work,


I'm asking for an anti-avoidance principle. We have yet to see the


details, none of us know the details. But the key point about


this is that most big businesses actually welcome the introduction


of such a principle. Because, actually, they are not interested


in aggressive tax avoidance. are they participating in it?


don't think they would see that is what it is. Hang on a second.


is this a moral question? Because it is about your contribution to


the common good. And the question is, do these very large


multinational companies actually contribute to the good of all. And


if they are paying, if they are actually paying very little tax,


and they are also putting small businesses out of business, there


is a very strong argument to say they don't...There Is an argument


to say they employ people and pay national insurance? There is a


balance of advantage, there is a balance of advantage, if they are


saying they make no profit, I don't know why they are operating here if


they make no profit, that seems extraordinary. They say they make


no profit, they boast to their shareholders they are making


extraordinary profits in their glossy brochures and then they ship


all their profits overseas. This country doesn't have the advantage


of that. That is a very simple matter. That is a very simple


matter, Charles. If there is any fraud going on t needs to be


prosecuted. I didn't say there was fraud. If the minutes of their tax


holder meetings are different to their returns, this needs to be


investigated by the tax authorities, not grandstanded by politician. It


needs to be investigated by the tax authorities in the same way that if


I claimed I was on the minimum wage, it would be investigated by the tax


authorities. The tax authorities are too lenient. Once you mix up


the common good and handing money over to the state, they are not


exactly the same thing. If Starbucks decides to give money to


charitable arms or whatever, I'm sure that would be giving to the


common good. I want to the make the point about the moral issue Jeremy


has been talking about, we are living in a time of unprecedented


cuts to public services, it is irrefutable the damage it is


causing to people's lives. Would you ban duty free products. Excuse


me, pleat finish my point, George Osborne will be repeating the


mantra there is no alternative, here is an alternative. Would you


ban people buying duty-free, that is tax avoidance. That is a total


red herring, that is a red herring, because duty-free products are


designed to relieve people of tax. Are so are these tax codes.


Transfer pricing is an incredibly complex thing. Normal people can't


take advantage of it, it is not the same as a duty-free. You are


distracting from the point I'm making. You want a general anti-


avoidance rule, applying to everyone, I assume. Living in a


time, let me finish my point, let me finish, we are living in a time


unprecedented cuts that is causing damage to people's lives, and


women's services which is what being protested about on the


weekend. This is about cuts not tax. Tax avoidance corporation, loses


�25 billion a year. What about personal tax avoidance. That is a


different issue. Hang on, you said earlier you want a general anti-


avoidance principle, I'm trying to work out. You can write the


principle in such a way. I'm trying to work out why the general anti-


avoidance principle you argued for, doesn't apply to duty-free


cigarettes. We as a society will write that and exclude that, we


will write the general anti- avoidance rule and decide what goes


in it. We don't have to include that. OK you two, let someone else


have a say. If I behaved, you know, at the moment, extraordinary, these


large companies now negotiating their tax with the Government. I


would love the tax man to call me up and say come out for a cup of


coffee and we will negotiate my tax, that is not how it works. If the


Government agrees there is nothing wrong with it? There is a


difference between what is legal and what is moral. What is legal


must track what is moral. That, if it doesn't track, to some degree,


that people recognise, out there, there is a great deal of political,


social, unhappiness about this sort of thing. Clearer, simpler tax


codes. You have been very restrained, come on? On the moral


point. Clearly all human activity has a moral angle to it. I think it


is incumbent of all of us in our public lives to think about that.


In whatever walk of life we are in. But there is also some pragmatisim


to this. The fact of the matter is, we need this economy, we need, for


this economy to improve, for more jobs to come, we need inbound


investment, we need healthy companies locating here. The


Government has done a lot of work to make the UK a more attractive


environment, both for people to headquarters. That is an argument


for lowering taxes? To attract inbound investment. There is a real


danger with this debate. Bear in mind when I talk to my colleagues


globally the UK is leading this debate like this. There is a real


danger that we are putting off those investors. I'm hearing that.


You can't be black mailed by large companies. It is not a question of


blackmail. There are 62 million people in this country, they will


make profits if they pay their fair share of tax, they will make


profits on it, that is why they are here. The idea that we will up


sticks and go if you don't like paying the tax. There will be some


tax rates the UK could have that would be too high people would go


elsewhere. You know, that the levels of taxation that are being


paid here are silly low, silly low. Silly high. There is a level, there


is a level which is fair, it is fair to business, indigenous


businesses that work here, it is fair to those of us who receive the


benefit, all of us who receive the benefit of taxation. The idea that


you could ship out your responsibilities and warehouse them


overseas is clearly morally wrong, and pragmatism is no alibi.


would you increase tax revenues? I'm interested in people paying


their fair share of that. I think that's what is crucial here.


think it should be higher? Yes, if a company like Amazon and Starbucks


are paying the minuscule amounts that we have at the moment, then,


yes, they should be paying a lot more. How would you change the


corporation tax rules? Luckily I'm not an accountant so I can't do


that. It is a much harder task than you are saying. We can put a man on


the moon we can make this work. Thank you all very much.


Now, a cure for cancer is the Holy Grail of medical research, yet is


it possible that the law is preventing doctors from making


progress? A Private Members Bill introduced


in the House of Lords this afternoon, more or less claims it


may be. According to Lord Saatchi, the advertising empresary and


former chairman of the Conservative Party, the law xels doctors to


stick to conventional treatments. He lost his wife to ovarian cancer,


the treatment of which is harsh and almost always unsuccessful, why not


free doctors to try something new? He's with us.


There have been incredible advances in the treatment of many cancers,


childhood cancers stand out. Broadly, we are doing well in


common cancers such as breast and colorectal cancers, but less well


with brain and pancreatic cancers. Maurice Saatchi says he wants to


help people to treat harder to treat cancers, including ovarian


cancers, including the one that his wife died from. He his says goal,


introduced through a Private Members Bill in the Lords today, is


to create greater innovation in cancer treatment. In the framework,


doctors can try new treatment. The idea is to free them from the


threat of being sued from departure from the range of conventional


treatments, without condoning recklessness.


Aren't there other factors, than fear of being sued, like lack of


money for research, why the need for a new law. When a doctor thinks


about how they are faced with a difficult clinical sin Nair hey,


they take all the appropriate measure, that is referrals, --


scenario, they take all the appropriates, referrals, talking to


patients, giving them the advantages and disadvantages of one


treatment or another. There is always the questions in the back of


the mind, what happens if something goes wrong. The bill helps clarify


the situation, that if something goes wrong, then the doctor will be


less liable. Some cancer charities support the


move, they say there is a need to challenge the status quo. We would


support anything that will improve the survival rates for women with


this disease. The treatment for ovarian cancer has hardly changed


in the last 30 years, this will give women the opportunity to talk


to their doctor and say, what is the right treatment for my disease.


Because we know that one size doesn't fit all.


This cancer research centre in Cambridge aims to link laboratory


research to practical applications in the clinic. James Brenton


specialises in ovarian cancers, in particular why treatments work for


some women and not others. So does he think fear of being sued is


holding back innovation in cancer treatment? No, I don't think it is


litigation fears. I think it is really a lack of understanding


about what is happening in the cancer when a patient has relapsed


with ovarian cancer. If we look at other cancers where survival has


changed dramatically over the past 20 years, like breast cancer, we


have identified particular changes that mean specific therapies work


very well for those women. We don't have that information yet for


ovarian cancer, that limits the opportunities for new medicines to


come into the treatment of the disease.


He says the current survival rates for ovarian cancer are not as good


as he or others would like. survival for most women with


ovarian cancer is 20-30% of those women still alive in five years,


using the medicines we have, the chemotherapy drugs. Even in the


most severe cases, 15 out of 100 are still alive. We are not happy


about the survival figures, we do know the medicines we have cause


great benefit in the short-term, the problem is the patients become


resistant to the chemotherapy drugs, that is the reason for the low


survival. Ovarian cancer is one of the most intractable of cancers.


The majority of women present with late-stage cancer, and survival in


these women have not improved significantly in recent years.


According to to Cancer Research UK, overall cancer rates of survival


have doubled in the last 40 years, with half of people diagnosed with


cancer surviving their disease for at least five years. In the 1960s,


only around a quarter of children survived cancer, now almost three-


quarters will survive for more than ten years, with many of those being


cured of their disease. The bill raises concerns about the


level of innovation in cancer treatment, but even for ovarian


cancers, the future looks more promising. There is good evidence


that good research into ovarian cancer will change the outcome,


they are medicines called PARP inhibitors, for those with a gene-


change in ovarian cancer which will change the outcome and cure more


patients. James Brenton says his team is researching other promising


avenues, such as a simple blood test to spot changes within a


single cancer, by looking for cancer DNA in a patient's blood.


While those behind today's bill say they agree with more kept kal


colleagues, that some form of clin -- sceptical colleagues, that


Transformers of clinical trial must be the basis of deciding to try new


treatments, in the future, they say, as gene-based approaches, allow


therapies targeted at individual patients, that fine tuning itself,


pay mean large-scale clinical trials are not always possible.


Lord Saatchi is with us now, you lost your wife to cancer in the


summer of last year. Was there a particular point in the treatment


where you realised that the law needed to be changed. I realised


the progress of cancer is relentless, remorseless, and


merciless. I also observed that the current treatments, certainly for


the kind of women's gynaecological cancer I'm now an expert in, these


treatments are medieval, degrading, and ineffective. If I may suggest,


the most useful way we could have this conversation, if it is all


right with you, is in terms of problem-solution. I will try to


describe the problem, I will have to be very stark about it, because


otherwise it will be quite possible for somebody to say, well, it is


not necessarily for this change in the law. May I do that? Please.


the moment women would think of the worst part of cancer treatment as


being hair loss. Caused by the drugs. And for a woman, in


particular, I think, hair loss is most distressing. But I can assure


you that hair loss is the good news. The less good news is that the


effects of the drugs, they cause and mimic the disease, with


symptoms like nausea, sorry about this, vomiting, fatigue, most


distressing, but I'm still in the good news, because the really bad


news is that the effect of the drugs on the immune system of the


woman, allow fatal infection to enter the body, and then the woman


is as likely to die from the infection as from the cancer.


That's the problem, if I can put it that way. Then we can come on to


the solution to that problem. does your bill propose? The bill


starts from the position that the current law is a barrier to


progress in solving the problem I have just described. A barrier to


progress in curing cancer. This is because any deviation, by a doctor,


from what his standard procedure, is liable to lead to a finding of


guilt for medal negligence. In other words, this is a deterrent --


medical negligence. In other words this is a deterrent. This is so


should somebody sue? Yes. Have doctors said that is deterring them


from trying other forms of treatment because of this?


trafting of this bill, taking place -- drafting of this bill, taking


place by some great parliamentary draftmen and great medical figures


in this country, has dealt with exactly that question, that the


fear in the mind of any doctor, that any departure from standard


procedure, will cost them their livelihood, and their reputation.


That's very serious what this bill will do is relieve them of that


burden, and allow more innovation. What it won't do is to create a


situation in which doctors are free to experiment in a reckless manner.


In fact, I would say, not to go on, I would say that this bill will do


more to deter reckless innovation, than the present law. Because it


sets out, after much consultation with the medical profession. It set


out a procedure, a process, which constitutes responsible innovation.


It contrasts that with reckless experimentation, which puts


patients lives at risk. But the reason there is an insistence upon


conforming to recognised treatment, is precisely to protect the patient


from quickry? Quickry, snake oil salesmen, -- Quackery, snake oil


salesman? This bill will protect better than the current low. The


bill sets out a hard process for a doctor to follow, if he is to


innovate in a responsible manner. Have you any examples of the way in


which this fear you say doctors have has got in the way of


innovation? The fear I describe is in the mind of all doctors at all


times. How would it not be. If you were the patient and I was the


doctor, and I could see your situation was grim, there is


nothing I can do for you, because my situation, as a doctor, is if I


depart from what is standard, my entire family, my livelihood, my


reputation, is likely to be destroyed. That's a problem. The


current law is case law, if this bill became law, this would become


statute law, and the definition of responsible innovation, instead of


being uncertain, as it is now, would become certain, because it


would be in the law. Can you give me an example of the


sort of thing you are thinking of? I'm not thinking that there is over


there a cure for cancer, which if only it could be picked up and


grout into a patients' hospital room everything would be well. --


brought into a patients' hospital room everything would be we will.


This bill won't cure cancer, it is to encourage the man or woman who


will cure cancer. I assume like all medical discoveries, like the


discould havery of pencilian or insulin, it will -- discovery of


pencilian or insulin, it will be that one man or woman will have an


idea in their head about how to cure Cannes, and they will pursue


it with great -- cancer, and they will pursue it with great rigour


and encouraged by it. This bill will encourage that. Do you think,


because of the advances we have made in mapping the human genome,


and all of rest of it, because of that gene therapy, and one thing or


another, we may be at the point where there is the possibility of


change, and some how the inhibitions on how doctors behave


are stopping that? I couldn't have put it better than the way you have


just put it. I'm very hopeful, as the oncologist on your film said. I


hope he's right. I haven't seen that myself. The survival rates in


the kind of cancer I'm familiar with are zero. The mortality rate


is 100%. And those rates are, as your film showed, the same as 40


years ago. The question one must ask is how is this possible? How


could there possibly have been such tremendous technological advance,


at a breath-taking rate, in so many fields, but not in cancer. They


have in some areas of cancer, haven't they? In some areas. Of


this improved considerably, not in this Cannes r cancer. Not owe vair


-- Cancer. Not ovarian cancer. should address why that should be.


When do you think the bill might become law?. That is a very telling


question. The bill will become law when the Government decides it will


become law. I have produced the bill in the House of Lords. Have


they given you any indication they will support you? No, I imagine


what the Government will say, when you ask them, is all is well, the


Government are doing a marvellous job investing tremendous sums,


great research is taking place everywhere, and no Government could


do more. I expect that's what they will say. But that would be very


dim of them. So, knowing how intelligent the Prime Minister is,


I doubt that will be his response. I'm looking forward to tremendous


support. Lord Saatchi, thank you. It's over a year since the end of


the war which brought down the dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi in


Libya. What bright hopes there were. The country has now staged


elections and a new Prime Minister struggles to chart a new course for


his country, including, he says, the promotion of human rights. But


Libya is very far from free. Something like seven or eight


though people are being held by various militias or gangs, which


control many of the streets. Women who took part in the struggle to


dump a dictator, now find themselves at the particular mercy


of Islamist gangs. Tim Whewell has been speaking to one of them.


It was a victory over one of the world's most enduring dictatorships,


a victory hastened by British political and military support.


is great to be here in free Benghazi, and in free Libya.


Your city was an inspiration to the world, as you threw off a dictator


But one young Libyan, who chose freedom, can't enjoy its fruits. An


ardent revolutionly, Magdulien Abaida is facing the cold reality


of exile on the epbl of the North Sea. She has been given -- end of


the North Sea. She has been given asylum by David Cameron's


Government, to protect her from some of the forces that are at work


in Libya. To have this revolution, and work hard for this revolution,


and then, in the end, after that you just have to leave it. Because


it is not a safe place for you any more.


During the revolution everybody was united, we all were working


together. But now, it's quite difficult.


Sunderland, where she knows no-one, is now her temporary home, at the


end of tumultuous year-and-a-half, when she joined protests against


Colonel Gaddafi, helped organise medical and food supplies for the


rebels, and then, in liberated Libya, began to campaign for


women's rights. It was that struggle against


discrimination, she believes, that put her life at risk. One of the


women's meetings she attended in Benghazi this summer was


interrupted by armed men. They came and took me from my room, five men.


They were armed. They asked me to go with them. I asked them who they


were, they said that I will know. Her captors, she says, were members


of the revolutionary militias. The brigades were formed from


volunteers, who took up arms against Gaddafi, in the spring of


last year. But after his overthrow, many


refused to integrate into a national army. And some, that


operate as a law unto themselves, particularly in Benghazi, have


strongly Islamist views. It was one of those militias, that seized her


during the women's rights workshop, she was released, but abducted


again the next day and taken to their base. Someone came and he


started kicking me. And then, he was hitting me with his feet, and


with his gun. He was telling me that I he will kill me and bury me


here, and nobody knows. He was calling me an Israeli spy, and


calling me whore and bitch, and tell me about my morals. You don't


have any. He hit me in my face, and he started, he keeps swearing.


These are the bruises she was left with. He was telling me he can kill


me, right now, and bury me here, and nobody knows about me. I


thought that I'm not going to, I will be killed in that place.


Eventually released, but accused by the militia of working for Israel,


which she strongly denies. She fled the country. Her application for


asylum here was supported by Amnesty International. This case is


really emblematic of the kind of behaviour, as Amnesty International


we have documented since the fall of the former Government, our


militias are acting completely out of control. There are hundreds of


them across the country. People who have been tortured and died under


torture and held incommunicado, all of this is happening while the


Government is watching and unable to rein them in. Angry crowds


stormed military bases, demanding an end to the lawless brigades,


that came after accusations that some had been involved in the


attack on the US consolate, and the assassination of the US Ambassador.


The Libyan Government vowed to bring them under control, so far to


no effect. Among those kidnapped and tortured


is one of Libya's best-known brain surgeons.


Is that embarrassing for Britain, the UK spent hundreds of millions


of pounds on the air campaign that helped overthrow Gaddafi, but did


it also help unleash forces that can't now be easily controlled.


are concerned, we are working with a Government that is also concerned


about it. We are trying to make sure we provide advice to


particular ministries, the Ministry of Justice, Interior, defence, in


human rights issues. We are training people, and spending money


on projects so more people are able to understand human rights


principles and putting them in action. We are trying to be


strategic with our help, practical in terms of assistance, and we are


working with people who recognise, that although they are making some


progress, clearly they have many challenges after 40 years.


The hope is, that Libya's new Government, appointed this month,


after a long period of political uncertainty, can end the abuses.


The new Justice Minister is a former human rights lawyer. We need


to put an immediate end to all human rights abuses, particularly


in Libyan prisons and detention centres. This is a problem that we


are facing, we are not shying from it, we are not denying it. We know


we have a big prob blems and - problem, and we have the will. To


put an end to that. Back in Sunderland, Magdulien


Abaida thinks it will be a long time before it is safe for her to


go back. Grateful to have been given refuge


by the UK, she's going now to pick up the papers that will allow her


to stay in Britain. She will be campaigning from here,


to end, what she sees, as efforts by Islamic fundamentalists in Libya


to roll back women's rights. It is like now we have to control women,


we have to hide them, so we can improve. Which is like, it is a big


shock for us. The revolution would have been


impossible without the work of women, who fed the frontline, and


performed many other tasks. Afterwards, some set about


empowering themselves to demand a bigger political role too. They


were horrified that the rebel leader, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, used


his Liberation Day speech to suggest making it easier for men to


have more than one wife. This is not why we made the revolution, not


for men to marry four women, the revolution was made by women and


men, and we wanted more rights, and not to destroy the rights of half


of the society. And again, when the female compere at the ceremony to


transfer power to the new parliament was heckled off stage


for not wearing a veil, and replaced by a man.


There have been reports too of women harassed by militias, for


sitting at cafes on their own at night. But Libya's always been a


conservative society, and though she doesn't live in Libya full-time,


activists, Sara Maziq, thinks women are achieving far more now than


they could ever under Gaddafi. Currently we have 33 women in our


Congress, we have two ministers in our previous transitional


Government, and now two ministers in this Government. I think there


is a lot of positive signs. I do hold a lot of hope in our new Prime


Minister. I know previously he was a humam rights activist. I know


that he supports fully women's rights. We need to look at the


overall picture, and the overall picture what is happening in Libya,


as far as I'm concerned, as a Libyan, is really in some ways a


miracle. But Magdulien Abaida can't return to the activism that helped


make her a target of the Islamists' wrath. If you went back to Libya


now, what do you think will happen to you? They will detain me


directly. And then? I don't know. Maybe they release me before, now,


if they catch me again they wouldn't release me any more.


There we are. That's it for now the Turner Prize


was won tonight by Elizabeth Price, whose video installation, the


Woolworth's Choir of 1979, tells the story of a fire that destroyed


a city centre store and left ten icey start in Scotland, but only a


patchy frost in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Further showers


coming in on the breeze here. Mostly of rain. And very few


showers for the east and south-east of England. Let's take a look at


things into the afternoon. Showers in North West England, some filter


towards the Midland. Increasing cloud. For East Anglia and the east,


sunshine here, temperatures not as high as they were today, as seven


or eight degrees. Showers across south-west England, is sunshine


inbetween. As there will be to showers in Wales. We don't welcome


any more rain to the flood-affected areas, at least it is not a


constant rain. For Northern Ireland sunshine and showers, with


temperatures around five or six degrees, a few showers brushing the


far south-west of Scotland. Elsewhere a cold day in Scotland,


cloud around an area of rain, sleet and hill know nudging south across


northern Scotland. This is the picture for Tuesday into Wednesday.


On Wednesday there will be a lot of sunshine around, the fine day but a


cold one, across the bulk of the UK. Make the most of all of that, after


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, presented by Jeremy Paxman.

Are multinationals backing down on tax avoidance? Lord Saatchi on the cancer that killed his wife, and why Libyan women seek asylum in Britain.

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