EU rights court allows secret hearings
EU rights court allows secret hearings

[JURIST] The European Court for Human Rights dismissed the claims [judgments] of three students claiming their nearly two weeks of detention without charges violated their human rights. The three students were in the UK on student visas when they were detained and have since returned to their homes in Pakistan. The students said in their complaint that they were brought before a court twice in order for officers to extend their detention. The students and their legal representation were apparently excluded from parts of their hearings. The majority judgement stated, “Indeed, even in the absence of express provision in the relevant law, the judge had had the power to appoint a special advocate if he considered such appointment necessary to secure the fairness of the proceedings. Significantly, the applicants had not requested the appointment of a special advocate.”

The treatment of prisoners and detainees is still a controversial issue throughout the world. In March the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture [official website] criticized [JURIST report] Bulgaria for its treatment of prisoners. Earlier in March the UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Méndez [official website] outlined [press release] the substantial progress Georgia has made [JURIST report] in eliminating torture and poor conditions in their prisons. The progress seen in Georgia was a result of an internationally demanded [JURIST report] investigation into prisoners’ human rights after a video showing prisoners being tortured and raped was released. The investigation implicated Georgia’s former justice minister and led to him being charged with torture [JURIST report]. However, prisoner torture is a problem worldwide. In October 2013 Méndez called on the US to end the indefinite solitary confinement [JURIST report] imposed upon a former Black Panther in 1972, stating that such a long tenure in solitary confinement was not acceptable under human rights law.