‘Make sure you say that you were treated properly’

London Review of Books Gareth Peirce writes about Torture, Secrecy and the British State, a must read, go now!

About her from Craig Murray

…our greatest human rights lawyer. She exposed some of the most famous human rights abuses in recent British history. In the film “In the Name of the Father”, Gareth was played by Emma Thompson. It was Gareth to whom I turned when the government was attempting to destroy me with false allegations. She advised me, as she very often does, pro bono. She manages at the same time to be one of our most famous lawyers, and one of our poorest.

At one stage, when the goon squad were entering and turning over my flat to try and put the frighteners on me, Gareth and her husband invited me to live with them for a while. I declined and toughed it out, but I tell the story as an example of her kindness and devotion to the cause of human rights.

As a side note one part concerns Northern Ireland, I have to say at times I have heard some US commentators say Iraq should have been handled much better, like the UK managed Northern Ireland, well-

We of all nations must have immediately recognised these techniques for what they are and must have known that they were prohibited, since we were disgraced for employing them by the European Court less than 30 years ago. In August 1971 British soldiers arrested 342 men in Northern Ireland claiming that they were IRA suspects. To force their confessions, 12 of them were taken to a secret site and subjected to the now notorious five techniques (forced standing, hooding, sleep deprivation, starvation and thirst, and white noise). Most of the men later reported experiencing auditory hallucinations; the interrogators referred to the room used for noise as the ‘music box’, and were aware that the detainees were exhibiting distorted thought processes. The Republic of Ireland took the UK to court in Strasbourg for their use of these methods and Britain gave an unconditional promise never to use them again. And yet since November 2001, knowing that these techniques were being adopted (and even enhanced) in our joint operations with the US, our ministers, ministries and intelligence personnel have behaved as if a blind eye could lawfully be turned while at the same time availing themselves of the same sites and sharing the product of those illegal methods.

6 Responses to “‘Make sure you say that you were treated properly’”

  1. HarpyMarx Says:

    Great article by Gareth Pierce. She is one of the best, she was also the solicitor acting for the de Menezes family at the inquest (I saw her during the first wk I attended). And she has been involved in miscarriages of justice and human rights cases (she represented women who had killed in self-defence like Sara Thornton).
    You can’t big that woman up enough, also Louise Christian is fab too.

  2. HarpyMarx Says:

    Oh, and indeed, her work around the Guildford 4 shouldn’t be forgotten. Dogged and her determination for justice is a good description. Good article as well that appeared early this year.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jan/31/peirce-attacks-us-and-britain

  3. HarpyMarx Says:

    Opps, just read the bit on the North of Ireland. Err, yes, the British state’s treatment of the North: Diplock courts, internment, plastic bullets, check-points, paramilitary death squads, shoot-to-kill… occupation… yeah, sounds like your average occupier ……………

  4. RickB Says:

    Yes she is great and as pointed out, poor, tells us what capital rewards and it ain’t the good people.

  5. libhomo Says:

    Commentators who say that my country’s government should have handled Iraq like the British did with Northern Ireland are admitting, tacitly, that the Iraq was is an imperial occupation. They should be called on that.

    • RickB Says:

      Yes, I think they also failed to read past mainstream narratives of the history, our dirty war is not so obvious then.


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