UK residents in Guantanamo can seek order requiring UK intervention with US

[JURIST] A UK High Court judge has ruled that three UK residents [JURIST report] detained by the US at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] since 2002 can seek a court order requiring the British government to petition the US government for their release. The UK government has thusfar said that it cannot represent non-British citizens at the camp, even if they lived in the UK. Amnesty International has said [AI report] that there are currently nine long-term British residents in Guantanamo; the High Court action was brought on behalf of Bishar al-Rawi [Wikipedia profile], Jamil al-Banna [Wikipedia profile] and Omar Deghaye [Wikipedia profile].

The judge at Thursday's hearing, Mr. Justice Collins, recognized the difficulties in the British government's position but said claims of torture at the camp meant the government might have an obligation to act, observing "America's idea of what is torture is not the same as ours and does not appear to coincide with that of most civilized nations." Collins acknowledged hearing of a new UN rights report [PDF] decrying the situation of detainees and recommending the closure of the facility [JURIST report] before making his comments in court. BBC News has more. The Guardian has local coverage.



 

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