Amnesty urges Ireland to reopen UK torture case News
Amnesty urges Ireland to reopen UK torture case

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Monday urged the Irish government to petition the European Court of Human Rights [official website] to reopen the 1978 UK v. Ireland [text] case following claims that the UK sanctioned torture. These allegations follow the airing of the RTE [media website] documentary “The Torture Files” [documentary, video], which asserts that the UK government withheld evidence that could have significantly impacted the ruling in the landmark case regarding the use of unorthodox interrogation practices called the “five techniques.” While the court found that the UK government violated certain portions of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights [text, PDF], which “constituted a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment,” the court held that the “five techniques” did not constitute torture. In October AI wrote to Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny [official profile], to urge him to reopen the case, and AI has also written to Prime Minister David Cameron [official profile] urging him to launch an independent investigation. The request for the review of this new information must be filed within the next two weeks.

Internationally, groups like AI and Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] have been addressing issues of torture and inhumane treatment. Last week HRW released a report [report, PDF] accusing police officers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of executing 51 youths and causing the disappearance of 33 others [JURIST report]. Last week HRW also warned that Russian occupation in Crimea [JURIST backgrounder] has led to serious human rights violations [press release]. Earlier this month AI urged accountability [press release] for torture in the Philippines, noting that five years after the enactment of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009, there still hadn’t been any convictions [JURIST report].