This is great news, seemingly the govt tried up until the last minute to fiddle the courts -Legal principle established in 1637 banned secret talks between lawyers and courts. It was broken by the government– and more is to come, and -a lawyer’s letter detailing how the Master of the Rolls condemned MI5 for withholding intelligence from the foreign secretary and the courts over complicity in torture–
Amnesty International has today welcomed the disclosure of information detailing the torture of UK resident Binyam Mohamed while in US custody.
The Court of Appeal this morning ordered that seven previously redacted paragraphs concerning Binyam Mohamed’s detention by the US be made public despite the UK government’s opposition to this move.
Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:
“This disclosure of information is welcome. Instead of blocking the release of information that may implicate UK officials in acts of torture, the UK authorities should be trying to get to the bottom of this affair.
“Today represents another step toward accountability and transparency but it shouldn’t be left to individual court cases and prolonged litigation resisted at each stage by the UK government to establish the nature of the UK’s possible role in human rights abuses during the ‘war on terror’.
“In March last year it was announced that the police would begin an investigation into the allegations of possible criminal wrongdoing by agents of the intelligence services, and the outcome of the investigation is still awaited.
“The fact that Binyam Mohamed was tortured triggers the UK’s human rights obligation, under domestic and international law, to investigate allegations of UK complicity in his abuse.
“We renew our call for an in independent and wide-ranging inquiry into all aspects of the UK’s alleged involvement in human rights abuses like rendition, secret detention and torture.”
PS. The redacted passages-
The following is quoted from the first judgment of the Divisional Court in the Binyam Mohamed case on 21 August 2008. We have alerted the Court to a typographic error.
“The following seven paragraphs have been redacted
[It was reported that a new series of interviews was conducted by the United States authorities prior to 17 May 2001 as part of a new strategy designed by an expert interviewer.
v) It was reported that at some stage during that further interview process by the United States authorities, BM had been intentionally subjected to continuous sleep deprivation. The effects of the sleep deprivation were carefully observed.
vi) It was reported that combined with the sleep deprivation, threats and inducements were made to him. His fears of being removed from United States custody and “disappearing” were played upon.
vii) It was reported that the stress brought about by these deliberate tactics was increased by him being shackled in his interviews
viii) It was clear not only from the reports of the content of the interviews but also from the report that he was being kept under self-harm observation, that the inter views were having a marked effect upon him and causing him significant mental stress and suffering.
ix) We regret to have to conclude that the reports provide to the SyS made clear to anyone reading them that BM was being subjected to the treatment that we have described and the effect upon him of that intentional treatment.
x) The treatment reported, if had been administered on behalf of the United Kingdom, would clearly have been in breach of the undertakings given by the United Kingdom in 1972. Although it is not necessary for us to categorise the treatment reported, it could readily be contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities]”