A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

UK rights group suing government over alleged overseas torture policies

[JURIST] UK rights group Reprieve [advocacy website] on Tuesday initiated legal action [text, PDF] against the UK government for its alleged use of torture policies overseas. Reprieve argues that the government's refusal to make such policies public [press release] suggests that the protocol is illegal and possibly allows torture. Reprieve will challenge the legality of the government's policies and will present information provided by an intelligence officer during cross examination [text, PDF] that implicated high-ranking officials in the promotion of abusive interrogations. The rights group criticized the government's silence on the issue and described the legal action:

Reprieve has therefore been forced to bring this litigation. Ten diverse examples of complicity are used to support the action: from British agents driving a prisoner around in a mobile interrogation unit in Iraq in the midst of his cycle of torture, to urging prisoners to cooperate with their abusers, to threats of rendition, to knowingly feeding questions to prisoners who were being mistreated.

The group seeks an official order preventing the military and intelligence officers from participating in torture. The government has responded that it does not condone torture [text, PDF] and has argued that Reprieve's facts are inaccurate.

Last month, Reprieve urged further inquiries relating to the investigation of three 2006 Guantanamo Bay suicides [JURIST reports] and suggested that the Obama administration had suppressed important information. In August, the group sued the UK government [JURIST report] over the rendition of two terrorism suspects to Afghanistan. A month earlier, Reprieve announced that it was suing the British government [JURIST report] over the rendition of Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni [advocacy profile] from Indonesia to Egypt, where it claims he was tortured.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.