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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Security concerns not a justification

posted on November 03, 2005 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: Michelle Shephard Source: The Toronto Star URL: [link] (subscribers only) Date: November 3, 2005 Torture never justified: U.N. Canada's role in deportations attacked Report urges federal government probe Canada could be breaking law

Canada would violate international law if terrorism suspects are deported to countries where they face torture, a U.N. Human Rights Committee report states. The strongly worded report urged the federal government to investigate claims of complicity in the torture of three Canadian citizens. An independent report last week backed up claims by Ahmed Elmaati, Muayyed Nureddin and Abdullah Almalki that they had been tortured in Syrian jails.

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Torture in Morocco: 'One of them made cuts in my penis. I was in agony'

posted on August 02, 2005 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: from the diary of Benyam Mohammed Source: The Guardian (UK) URL: [link] Date: August 2, 2005 Benyam Mohammed travelled from London to Afghanistan in July 2001, but after September 11 he fled to Pakistan. He was arrested at Karachi airport on April 10 2002, and describes being flown by a US government plane to a prison in Morocco. These are extracts from his diary.

They cut off my clothes with some kind of doctor's scalpel. I was naked. I tried to put on a brave face. But maybe I was going to be raped. Maybe they'd electrocute me. Maybe castrate me. They took the scalpel to my right chest. It was only a small cut. Maybe an inch. At first I just screamed ... I was just shocked, I wasn't expecting ... Then they cut my left chest. This time I didn't want to scream because I knew it was coming. One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over. "I told you I was going to teach you who's the man," [one] eventually said. They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists. I asked for a doctor.

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Working Group On Arbitrary Detention Ends Visit to Canada (UN Press Release)

posted on June 17, 2005 | in Category International | PermaLink

Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights URL: [link] Date: June 16, 2005 The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights issued the following statement at a press conference held on 15 June in Ottawa at the end of a visit to Canada. The visit was led by Working Group chairperson Leila Zerrougui and included the participation of members Soledad Villagra de Biedermann and Mohammad Hashemi.

As many persons we have met during the last two weeks, you may ask yourselves why the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has come to Canada. The answer is simply that the Government has invited the Working Group for an official mission.

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Report says deportations illegal

posted on April 15, 2005 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: Oliver Moore
Souce: The Globe and Mail
URL: [link]
Date: April 14, 2005

Western governments relying on the "fig leaf" of assurances that a deported terror suspect will not be tortured are nevertheless complicit in any resulting human-rights abuses, a highly critical report argues.

The paper from Human Rights Watch slams countries for ducking the "absolution prohibition" on torture by sending suspects abroad and using the flimsy promises of the recipient country to skirt their legal obligations.

"The assurances are meaningless coming from places like Egypt, Syria, Uzbekistan and Yemen," report author Julia Hall told on Thursday, citing countries that rights groups accuse of systemic abuses.

The report specifically cites Canada and its security-certificate procedure, in which suspects can be tried using secret evidence and deported to countries where torture is believed to be common, as long as that country vows not to abuse that particular person.

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UK: Promises on Torture Don't Work

posted on October 14, 2004 | in Category International | PermaLink

Source: Human Rights Watch Website URL: [link] Date: October 6, 2004 "Diplomatic Assurances" will not Protect Deportees

(London, October 6, 2004) The British government has said it is seeking "diplomatic assurances" that terrorism suspects deported to their home countries will not be tortured there. It argues that, on receipt of such assurances, the men-many of whom have been held without trial for more than two years-could safely be deported. But experience shows that these assurances are an ineffective safeguard against torture, Human Rights Watch said today. ....The British position is moral abdication-there is a real risk that the men will be tortured if they are returned, whatever promises their home governments may offer. Holly Cartner Executive Director Europe and Central Asia Division Read more...

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