Newly declassified documents show that Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing was spied on by British security services for more than 20 years.
Previously top secret files reveal that Lessing’s phone conversations, mail and movements’ were closely controlled by MI5 and Met police special branch.
Doris Lessing died in 2013 aged 94. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007.
MI5 was apparently concerned about her anti-racism stance as well as her Communist Party membership.
A London-based rights activist says the revelation is nothing surprising in a “secret state” like Britain
“News about Doris Lessing being spied on is not really very surprising. The more we have declassification of documents, the more we will find that the British secret state has been very operational,” Arzu Merali told Press TV’s UK Desk on Friday.
She said minority groups in the UK, including Muslim communities, have been specifically targeted by the spying agencies.
Another human rights activist, William Spring, believes that Doris Lessing was a prime target for British spies as she was suspected of attempting to unscramble the British empire in Africa.
“It was quite inevitable and not at all surprising that she would be spied upon by the British intelligence because anybody who was seeking in a way to unscramble or subvert the British empire in Africa was necessarily a subject,” William Spring told Press TV’s UK Desk on Friday.
Life under surveillance
Some critics believe surveillance activities in the UK are part of the everyday life with millions of cameras installed almost everywhere. But some others argue espionage activities carried out in the UK are far more than the surveillance cameras
“I think surveillance is far more than cameras. I think anybody linked into the worldwide web is necessarily spied on as well…,” said William Spring.
According to the British Security Industry Association, there are up to 6 million CCTV cameras across the UK. BSIA estimates that every Briton, on average, is being recorded by about 70 cameras each day.
The United Kingdom has one of the highest totals of CCTV cameras in the world. There is a CCTV camera for every 11 people