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UK, Lebanon sign diplomatic assurance on treatment of terror deportees

[JURIST] The United Kingdom and Lebanon [JURIST news archive] have signed a memorandum of understanding that specifies that non-UK citizens deported from Britain to Lebanon will not be mistreated. According to a foreign office spokesperson in London, the agreement seeks to protect the human rights of any person deported to Lebanon through the courts and independent monitoring, and is intended to be applied to persons involved in potential terrorist activity. Amnesty International [official website] has condemned the agreement as "not worth the paper it is written on," insisting that "torture, suspicious deaths in custody and the use of the death penalty are all matters of serious concern in Lebanon." Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website] has criticized similar agreements [JURIST report] between the UK and Libya [JURIST report] and Jordan [JURIST report] respectively, saying that they circumvent the absolute prohibition in the Convention against Torture [text] against the forcible return of detainees to countries where there is a risk of torture or ill-treatment. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] has said he wants to sign as many as 10 assurance agreements with Muslim nations to speed up the deportation process for suspects accused of terrorist activities in the UK after the July 7 London bombings [JURIST news archive]. Read the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office press statement on the signing. AFP has more.

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