BBC Poll: One-third support 'some torture'

posted on October 22, 2006 | in Category International | PermaLink

Nearly a third of people worldwide back the use of torture in prisons in some circumstances, a BBC survey suggests.

Although 59% were opposed to torture, 29% thought it acceptable to use some degree of torture to combat terrorism.

While most polled in the US are against torture, opposition there is less robust than in Europe and elsewhere.

More than 27,000 people in 25 countries were asked if torture would be acceptable if it could provide information to save innocent lives.

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Australian court overturns terrorist conviction based on torture

posted on August 22, 2006 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: David Taylor and Mike Head
Source: World Socialist Web site
URL: [link]
Date: August 22, 2006

In a serious blow to the Howard government, a Full Bench of the Victorian Supreme Court last Friday quashed the “terrorist” convictions against a young Melbourne worker, Jack Thomas. The ruling was based on the fact that the confession Thomas gave to police was illegally obtained in a Pakistani jail through torture and coercion by Pakistani, US and Australian authorities.

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Amnesty calls for end to Algeria abuse

posted on July 12, 2006 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: Agencies
Source: Aljazeera.Net
URL: [link]
Date: July 10, 2006

[Thanks to Khalid and Sophie for passing this on to me... - Brian]

Amnesty International has condemned the continuing use of torture by the Algerian security services.

The human rights group said on Monday that Algeria's intelligence agency, the Department of Information and Security, or DRS, is using the war on terror as an excuse to perpetuate torture and ill-treatment.

The rights group issued its 44-page report before Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the president, visits London on Tuesday.

"Recent measures taken by the Algerian authorities with the stated intention of consolidating 'national reconciliation' have failed to address this grim legacy," it said.

The most common means of abuse, it said, include beatings, electric shocks, and "chiffon" - the forced drinking of dirty water, urine or chemicals through a cloth stuffed into a detainee's mouth.

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Judge brands control orders 'unlawful' (UK)

posted on June 29, 2006 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: Simon Freeman
Source: The Times Online (UK)
URL: [link],,2-2247622,00.html
Date: June 28, 2006

A cornerstone of the Government's security policy was thrown into doubt today after a High Court judge ruled the use of control orders on terrorist suspects to be unlawful.

In a ruling that instantly re-ignited the feud between the Government and the judiciary, Mr Justice Jeremy Sullivan said that powers enshrined by the orders were so severe that they amounted to a deprivation of liberty without a trial and, as such, breached European human rights legislation.

Quashing orders against six men - one British citizen and five Iraqis referred to only by initials - he told the High Court in London: "The [Home Secretary] had no power to make the orders and they must therefore all be quashed."

Control orders were introduced in April last year after the courts rejected post-September 11 emergency powers allowing police to imprison suspected foreign terrorists indefinitely without trial.

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U.N.: U.S. should close Guantanamo prison

posted on May 19, 2006 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: Associated Press Source: MSNBC URL: [link] Date: May 19, 2006 U.N.: U.S. should close Guantanamo prison Panel urges U.S. to 'eradicate' torture, stop using secret detention facilities

GENEVA - The United States should close its prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and avoid using secret detention facilities in its war on terror, a U.N. panel report released Friday said. In an 11-page report on its review of U.S. adherence to the Treaty Against Torture, the committee said detainees should not be returned to any state where they could face a “real risk” of being tortured. "The state party should cease to detain any person at Guantanamo Bay and close the detention facility," said the U.N. Committee Against Torture, a panel of 10 independent experts on adherence to the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

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Canada Almost Alone in Supporting Guantanamo

posted on March 07, 2006 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: Paul Koring Source: The Globe and Mail URL: [link] Date: March 4, 2006 Major Western allies push for closing U.S. gulag after damning UN report

Washington - As most major Western allies stridently demand the closing of the U.S. Caribbean gulag at Guantanamo Bay, Canada's conspicuous silence remains a rare exception. British, French, German and Italian leaders have all pushed for Guantanamo's closing in recent weeks after a damning UN report that found it falling far short of meeting international standards of justice. Calls for shutting down Guantanamo have since echoed around the globe. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says close it. So does Louise Arbour, a former Canadian Supreme Court judge who heads the UN Human Rights Commission. The Bush administration's policy of holding detainees in secret and offshore prisons and shipping them to third countries has "an acutely corrosive effect on the global ban on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment," she said.

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Lord Steyn and the Rule of Law (long)

posted on December 13, 2005 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: N/A Source: Workers' Daily Internet Edition Daily On Line Newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) URL: [link] Date: December 8, 2005 Condemnation of the Lawlessness and Violation of Justice of the US and Britain: Lord Steyn and the Rule of Law

Lord Steyn is one of Britain’s most senior judges. In his interview with Jon Snow on Channel 4 News he vehemently condemns the widespread lawlessness of the US and Britain and intimates that in his view both administrations could well be guilty of war crimes on the basis of international law established after the defeat of fascism in World War Two. In 2003, and since, he has condemned the US's Guantánamo Bay prison camp, calling the imprisonment of "terrorist suspects" there a "monstrous failure of justice" that constitutes "utter lawlessness". This was reported at the time as breaking with the convention that law lords do not speak out on politically sensitive issues. Lord Steyn’s stand has been that judges "have the duty, in times of crisis, to guard against an unprincipled and exorbitant" government response. [For the full text of Lord Steyn’s November 2003 speech, Guantánamo Bay: The Legal Black Hole, see Year 2003 No. 119, December 11, 2003.]

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Torture ruling leaves terror policy in chaos (UK)

posted on December 10, 2005 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: Clare Dyer and Alan Travis
Source: The Guardian Unlimted
URL: [link],16518,1663307,00.html
Date: December 9, 2005

Guardian The government will have to show that evidence obtained under torture has not been used in up to 30 cases in which foreign terror suspects are held in Britain, following one of the most important judgments to come from the House of Lords.

Seven judges in Britain's highest court ruled yesterday that intelligence extracted by torture is not admissible in any British court. Lawyers said the judgment would reverberate around the world, putting beyond doubt that the ban on torture was absolute in civilised countries.

Home Office sources confirmed that they now expected "coerced evidence" to be a key issue in the appeals yet to be heard in the cases of 22 men held pending their deportation to countries such as Algeria and Libya, and a further five placed under anti-terror "control orders".

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Law Lords confirm that torture "evidence" is unacceptable

posted on December 08, 2005 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE Source: URL: [link] Date: December 8, 2005 UK: Law Lords confirm that torture "evidence" is unacceptable

Today's judgment has put the onus firmly on the United Kingdom (UK) authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and its absolute ban on torture, Amnesty International said in a first reaction to the Law Lords' ruling. "It is deplorable that the UK government had to be taken to court over this. Over the last two and a half years the authorities have shamefully sought to defend the indefensible," Amnesty International said. The Law Lords have confirmed that evidence obtained through torture is never acceptable except in proceedings against the alleged torturer. The ruling confirms the otherwise absolute inadmissibility in judicial proceedings in the UK of "evidence" extracted under torture.

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Canada criticized for Hassan Almrei detention

posted on November 14, 2005 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: News Staff
Source: CTV.CA News
URL: [link]
Date: November 11, 2005

One of the detainees the United Nations had in mind when it recently criticized Canada's controversial use of the security certificate says he'll keep risking his life to get the law changed.

Canada was rapped on the knuckles last week, for its use of security certificates to detain suspects identified in its ongoing counter-terrorism campaign.

The certificates allow Canada to indefinitely detain non-citizens without charge, trial or the release of evidence against them.

In a stern rebuke, the United Nations Human Rights Commission said using security certificates may violate international law and called on Canada to change the way it acts toward foreign nationals who are detained in this country.

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