UK, Libya sign agreement on treatment of deported foreign nationals

[JURIST] The United Kingdom and Libya signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Tuesday which specifies that foreign nationals deported from the UK to Libya will not be mistreated upon their return. The agreement was signed by Britain's Ambassador to Libya Anthony Layden [official profile] and the Libyan Acting Secretary for European Affairs, Abdulati Ibrahim al-Obidi. Responding to the MOU, Amnesty International [advocacy website] said the government should stop finding ways to work around the international ban on torture [press release], adding that it would be misguided to expect countries that have a known record of torturing people to respect agreements promising not to torture. Another rights group, Liberty UK [advocacy website], criticized the MOU with Libya in light of the UK's 2004 Human Rights Report [text], which expressed 'serious concern' with conditions in Libyan prisons. UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] says the agreement is a necessary international negotiation tool to fight terrorism. Clarke emphasized the need to balance international obligations to protect the rights of individuals facing torture with the right of people to travel around freely. Earlier this year, in the aftermath of the London bombings [JURIST news archive], the UK negotiated a similar agreement with Jordan [JURIST report] and is working to reach agreements with Lebanon and Algeria. BBC News has more.

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