Posts Tagged ‘torture and ill-treatment’

Amnesty asks India to end torture in Kashmir

June 30, 2009

Daily Times, June 29, 2009

ISLAMABAD: International human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) has said the Indian government must take immediate steps to end torture and other human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK).

In a letter to Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram, AI Asia Pacific Programme Director Sam Zarifi said AI continued to receive reports of torture and ill-treatment of individuals in custody in IHK. “I am writing to express AI’s concerns that torture and other cruel inhuman treatment or punishment are still inflicted widely throughout India,” Zarifi said, asking India to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. app

Secrets behind torture victim’s detention

February 5, 2009
MICHAEL SETTLE, UK Political Editor | The Herald, Feb 5, 2009

Binyam Mohamed claims to be a humble cleaner from London. The US military has a different view, believing him to be a dangerous terrorist.

The 31-year-old terror suspect, who now finds himself at the centre of an extraordinary row between British judges and the US authorities, has been incarcerated in the controversial camp at Guantanamo Bay since September 2004.

He was born in Ethiopia and came to Britain as a teenager in 1994, seeking asylum. He was given leave to remain and studied and worked as a janitor in London.

However, in 2002, he was arrested in Pakistan and then allegedly rendered to Morocco.

His lawyers claim that during his 18 months in north Africa he was tortured, including having a razor blade held to his penis.

He is said to have made confessions at Bagram, in Afghanistan, between May and September 2004, and at Guantanamo Bay before November that year.

He was originally charged with involvement in a “dirty bomb” plot, but that was withdrawn and the US authorities said new charges might be brought.

But no fresh indictment was filed, and on January 22 US President Barack Obama issued an executive order that no new charges should be sworn, pending a review of the position of all those detained at Guantanamo Bay.

Mohamed insists evidence against him was based on confessions extracted by torture and ill treatment – claims denied by the US authorities. Now there is speculation that he could soon be released.

He wrote to his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith recently that “several reliable sources” had told him his release to Britain had been approved.

He has been on hunger strike to protest against his continued imprisonment. “I should have been home a long time ago,” the Ethiopian said in the letter dated December 29.

Earlier in August, two High Court judges ruled MI5 had participated in his unlawful interrogation and said the UK had a duty to disclose what it knew about his treatment.

The information, described as a “short summary” of Mohamed’s treatment by the US, was supplied to the court on the condition that it not be released publicly. Yesterday’s ruling was the result of an appeal by the media against the documents being withheld.

While the same judges ruled the dossier provided by the US authorities should remain secret, they bitterly criticised the Americans over the way they had sought to prevent the information from being released, particularly as it was “relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment – politically embarrassing though it might be”.

In the end, they decided to suppress the material because David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, played the national security card, telling them he believed there to be a “real risk” the potential loss of intelligence co-operation would seriously increase the threat from terror faced by the UK.

The Foreign Office backed up the line, saying: “Intelligence relationships, especially with the United States, are vital to Britain’s national security. They are based on an assumption of trust.”

This is not the first time America has sought to restrict a UK court’s access to information.

In 2007, the US military was criticised for failing to provide an inquest with evidence about the death of British soldier Matty Hull in a friendly fire incident involving American jets in Iraq.

There have also been previous cases where the UK Government has cited national security in making major legal decisions.

In 2006, a long-running Serious Fraud Office investigation into a multi-billion pound BAE Systems arms deal with Saudi Arabia was controversially halted.

Having applauded Barack Obama for signing an order to close Guantanamo Bay, human rights campaigners and opposition MPs now fear that the heavy-handed non-disclosure policy that existed under the Bush administration is simply continuing blithely under its successor.

Pressure will undoubtedly grow today for Mr Miliband to answer MPs’ questions at the Commons despatch box; it will be interesting to see if he will comply.

Systematic torture of Palestinians documented in 80-page report

December 7, 2008


prisonisraelpalestinien-1-3.jpg, December 1, 2008

Nablus / PNN – The use of torture and ill-treatment by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians is nothing but a systematic and comprehensive process, states a human rights report issued today.

The Coalition against Torture says that Israel is either unwilling or unable to fulfill its obligations under the Convention against Torture.

The group of 14 Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations writes in its annual report for 2008 that it has recorded evidence of an act, complicity or omission of fact or duty on the part of state officials at all levels. The guilty parties include members of the army, intelligence, police, judiciary and other government branches. The coalition said that the situation is unlikely to improve in the cultural of impunity and immunity that prevails in Israel.

In its annual report for 2008, the Coalition against Torture – a coalition of 14 Palestinian and Israeli organizations for human rights – prepared an intensive study which included a critical analysis of Israel’s compliance to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture). The report examines the continuation of Israel’s use of systematic torture, whether in the occupied Palestinian territory or within Israeli boundaries.

According to the mandate of the Coalition against Torture, the annual report is based on material provided by the coalition to the United Nations Committee against Torture in September 2008. This step comes before beginning its periodic review of Israel’s compliance with the Convention against Torture planned for May 2009. The body of the report, which is a summary compiled by the members of the coalition, includes more than 80 pages of testimony and excerpts of testimony.

While preparing the report the Coalition studied the use of torture and ill-treatment by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinians from the moment of arrest through the period of investigation and detention, as well as the use of confessions in military courts that were obtained under duress. The report also talks about the following issues:

– The use of torture and ill-treatment in non-traditional conditions, including the demolition of houses and the siege on Gaza and the Israeli security services not allowing patients from leaving Gaza to seek medical treatment.

– The continued adoption of the solitary confinement policy and prevention of Palestinian detainees from receiving urgent legal assistance.

– The discriminatory policy in law and the applied practice on the Palestinian prisoners, compared with Israeli citizens.

– The immunity enjoyed by the Shin Bet investigators, police officers and members of the Israeli army who torture and ill-treat the Palestinian detainees, including children from the age of twelve.

– A legislative exception that allows members of the Shin Bet to not follow the laws and regulations that provide for the use of audio and video recordings during the investigation of Palestinian prisoners as is the case in other investigations.

– Failure of Israel to ban the use of torture and ill-treatment in its domestic legislation as recommended by the United Nations Committee against Torture which is conferred to enforcel the state’s obligations under the Convention against Torture.

:: Article nr. 49235 sent on 01-dec-2008 19:34 ECT


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