Northern Ireland: Amnesty calls for investigation into waterboarding allegations

Amnesty International has responded to allegations of torture, including waterboarding, by members of the RUC and British Army in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, broadcast today (Sunday 7 October) by the BBC in the Radio Ulster programme, Inside The Torture Chamber.  The programme revealed that waterboarding was used 40 years ago by the Army in Northern Ireland and included an allegation that it was also used by RUC detectives in Castlereagh police station, Belfast.   Amnesty International is calling for a criminal investigation and a wider inquiry into allegations of torture by members of the RUC and British Army in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.   Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, said:   "In the 1970s Amnesty International investigated and exposed allegations of torture by the security forces in Northern Ireland. Despite a public outcry and a public renunciation of torture by the Prime Minister of the time, it seems that sections of the security forces in Northern Ireland may have continued this criminal activity.   "Torture is a crime under national or international law. If anyone carries out a crime, they should be held accountable for that before the law. To date, no-one has been held properly accountable for such torture.    "Those senior members of the security forces who may have ordered the use of torture and those police officers and soldiers who carried out any such criminal orders, must not be beyond the law. The PSNI should launch a criminal investigation into these serious allegations, with the potential for prosecution to follow.   "Such human rights violations should also be subject to a wider inquiry into the past in Northern Ireland. We must learn the lessons of our painful past, including that the use of torture should forever be placed beyond the limits of acceptability for the police and armed forces."

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