The UK Supreme Court [official website] ruled [judgement, PDF] Tuesday against the UK government in a case of torture by MI6 agents in Libya in 2004. All seven Justices ruled in favor of Abdul Hakim Belhaj [BBC profile] and his then-pregnant wife who were kidnapped in Asia and forcibly moved to Libya. This action was taken as a joint operation with CIA operatives, but the British court declined to rule on the activity of American officials. The case took 15 months to decide, which now could allow [BBC report] Belhaj to sue former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw [official profile]. The court wrote against the use of torture as the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF] bars such tactics.
While many international organizations aim to end the use of torture, it is still implemented as a security measure throughout the world. Earlier this month the former Primer Minister of Kosovo was arrested [JURIST report] in France over alleged war crimes committed during the Kosovo War in the late 1990s. In December US President Barack Obama warned against torture tactics [JURIST report] in his final security address, urging the next administration to stand strong against such tactics. Also in December Human Rights Watch released a report that accused Chinese officials of engaging in torture [JURIST report] as a way to root out corruption in the country. In November Amnesty International accused members of the Iraqi police force for torturing [JURIST report] and killing villagers in the attempt to liberate Mosul.