Belhaj rendition: today's 'closing down' of the case criticised

‘We’re increasingly concerned that there’s never going to be any genuine accountability for the UK’s involvement in torture and other ill-treatment overseas’ - John Dalhuisen
 
Responding to news that the High Court of England and Wales has this morning struck out a civil law suit brought against current and former UK officials by the Libyan man Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Bouchar - both of whom were detained in Thailand and subject to a rendition to Libya by the CIA, allegedly with UK involvement - Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Director John Dalhuisen said:
 
“This is an extremely disappointing decision, doubly so as it comes just a day after the government reneged on a pledge to hold an independent inquiry into alleged UK complicity in rendition and torture. 
 
“Avenues of investigation and redress are being closed down rapidly, despite these being incredibly serious allegations about UK officials’ involvement in torture and other ill-treatment. 
 
“We’re increasingly concerned that there’s never going to be any genuine accountability for the UK’s involvement in torture and other ill-treatment overseas.”
 

According to initial media reports, the judge Mr Justice Simon stated that the claim was a “well-founded” one, but said that it might “jeopardise this country’s international relations and national security interests” if it were allowed to proceed.

John Dalhuisen added:

“Very general arguments about national security are being used to prevent the truth coming out and justice being done. There can be no immunity for serious human rights violations.”
 
Amnesty understands that the claimants’ lawyers intend to appeal against today’s decision.
 

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