Tag Archives: Torture

28 March 2013

UK Court of Appeals rejects deportation of Islamist cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan

A UK Court of Appeals rejected an attempt by the UK government to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan, on the ground that states cannot expel a person where there is a real risk that this person will face a trial based on evidence obtained by torture. The Court upheld a ruling from November 2012 by the Special Immigrations Appeals Commission (Siac) that blocked Qatada’s return to Jordan to stand trial because ‘there was a real risk he would be subject to a flagrant denial of justice’. The Siac in turn had upheld the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the case Othman (Abu Qatada) v. the United Kingdom (17 January 2012). The ECtHR found that evidence against Qatada was obtained by torture of his co-defendants and that there was a real risk of a flagrant denial of justice if he were deported to Jordan. The Siac also said the diplomatic assurances obtained by the UK government were insufficient to prove that torture-based evidence would not be admitted in any retrial.

Source: The Guardian | Abu Qatada: Theresa May loses latest attempt to deport Islamist cleric

8 March 2013

Argentinian trial begins on human rights violations by joint operation involving Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil

On 5 March, a human rights trial began in Argentina to investigate the crimes committed during the so-called ‘Operation Condor, involving six states, in response to the populist and socialist movements emerging throughout Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.

The six participating states were Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. The operation resulted in tens of thousands of people being kidnapped, tortured and killed by military regimes across the continent. Those who fled repression in one state were often targeted in another state. Al Jazeera quotes from a United States (US) intelligence report from 1976: ‘Intelligence representatives from Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Chile and Argentina decided at a meeting in Santiago early in June to set up a computerised intelligence data bank – known as “Operation Condor”…’ Al Jazeera also notes that Operation Condor was executed with knowledge of the United States.

Source: Al Jazeera | Tracing the shadows of 'Operation Condor'

21 January 2013

UN documents torture of detainees transferred by foreign governments to Afghanistan

A new United Nations (UN) report states that Afghan authorities are still torturing prisoners who had been transferred by foreign governments. Even though the international military force was making a serious effort to delay transfers if there was risk of torture, about 30 percent of 79 detainees who had been transferred to Afghan custody by foreign governments ended up being tortured, the report said. That is higher than in 2011, when the UN found that 24 percent of transferred detainees were tortured.

Source: The New York Times | UN: Prisoners Still Tortured in Afghan Custody

17 January 2013

French corporation to be investigated for complicity in torture

The French corporation Amesys is being investigated for complicity in acts of torture by supplying communications surveillance equipment to the Gaddafi regime. The complaint filed by human rights associations in October 2011 had been considered inadmissible by the Prosecutor, but on 15 January 2013 the Court of Appeal of Paris allowed the investigation to proceed.

The role of Amesys and other companies in providing surveillance materials to the Libyan regime has been revealed by the Wall Street Journal in August 2011.

Source: FIDH | Amesys Case: The Investigation Chamber green lights the investigative proceedings on the sale of surveillance equipment by Amesys to the Khadafi regime
Source: Le Figaro | Libye: feu vert à l'enquête sur Amesys

15 January 2013

UK settles Libya rendition claim by paying 2.2 million pound

On 13 December 2012, it was announced that the United Kingdom (UK) agreed to pay 2.2 million pound to Mr. al-Saadi, a Libyan dissident who was forcibly transferred together with his family from Hong Kong to Gaddafi’s Libya in 2004, where Mr. al-Saadi was imprisoned and tortured.

The al-Saadi family argued MI6 was ‘instrumental in their kidnap’ and claim their rendition was a ‘joint UK-US-Libyan operation.’ Documents saying the UK helped to organise the rendition were found in the office of Gaddafi’s spy chief in Libya after the overthrow of Gaddafi. The UK government confirmed the settlement, but stated there was ‘no admission of liability and no finding by any court of liability.’

Source: BBC | UK pays £2.2m to settle Libyan rendition claim
Source: Al Jazeera | UK pays $3.5m to settle Libya rendition claim

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