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Cageprisoners deeply concerned by House of Lords decision in case of Abu Qatadah

Cageprisoners is deeply concerned by today’s House of Lords’ decision in the case of Abu Qatadah that deportation of foreign nationals to countries which practice torture was not a bar to their removal.

In reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords has effectively sanctioned the deportation of Abu Qatadah and other foreign nationals to countries where the only evidence of wrongdoing against them has been obtained through torture. Both the Special Immigrations Appeal Commission ! (SIAC) and the Court of Appeal have accepted that the only evidence against Abu Qatadah has been extracted from the torture of his co-defendants in Jordan and that there is no other genuine evidence against him.

Cageprisoners view the decision as a major setback for human rights and the rule of law.

Cageprisoners spokesman, Moazzam Begg, stated:

“The position taken by the court is a major departure from understood law, especially in relation to fair trials. Considering the US new president has recently reiterated the prohibition on the use of torture it comes as a surprise that this ruling negates the principle of non-refoulement which state that it is illegal to return an individual to a country where they are at risk of abuse.”

“After the legal challenges that were fought in 2004, the House of Lords have reversed the trend of human rights through issuing such a judgement.”

Notes to editor:

1. Abu Qatadah, if returned to Jordan faces two military trials both of which have convicted him already in his absence.

2. Abu Qatadah’s solicitor, Gareth Peirce commented that the judgement was “exceptionally disturbing and a backwards step”. An appeal was launched at the European Court of Human Rights immediately after the judgement was given.

Cageprisoners is a human rights organisation that exists to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.

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