Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

1 March 2007

UK must stop deportations to torture states

UK must stop deportations to torture states

After labelling them as threats to "national security", the UK has recently deported two men to Algeria, a country with a known record of torture and other ill-treatment of people suspected of involvement in terrorism.

The men said that the Algerian embassy had assured them that they would be granted immunity from prosecution. These assurances were disregarded.

Following their deportation to Algeria, Reda Dendani and another Algerian man, known for legal reasons only as "H", were held virtually incommunicado by an Algerian intelligence agency for approximately 12 days. As far as Amnesty International can establish, they were then charged with "participation in a terrorist network operating abroad", and remanded into custody.

In spite of this, the UK is attempting to deport other Algerians on the basis of assurances from the Algerian authorities that the deportees would be treated humanely and would benefit from amnesty measures.

Another "national security suspect", known as Abu Qatada, faces return to Jordan after a UK court recently rejected his appeal against deportation on "national security" grounds.

In unfair and largely secret proceedings, the court disregarded ample evidence that, if returned to Jordan, Abu Qatada would face a real risk of violations of his fundamental human rights. Torture and other ill-treatment in certain detention centres in Jordan are routine, and access to detainees by lawyers and human rights bodies is denied.

The UK government's assertion that a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MoU) between the UK and Jordan is an effective mechanism to protect Abu Qatada from these risks was nevertheless accepted

The UK looks set to continue its attempts to deport individuals, on national security grounds, to states with appalling records of torture and other ill-treatment. The decision to deport is taken largely on the basis of secret information, in proceedings that are inherently profoundly unfair.

The UK authorities recognize that, but for these "assurances" and MoUs, the deportees would face a real risk of egregious human rights violations in their country of origin. The UK government maintains that, through securing these "assurances", it is meeting its human rights obligations.

Plainly, it is not.

 

Diplomatic assurances:

    * breach international human rights obligations;
    * are unreliable and unenforceable;
    * are inherently discriminatory in that they apply only to particular individuals.

Read More

Deportations to Algeria at all costs (Report, 26 February 2007)

United Kingdom/Jordan: 'National security suspect' facing prospect of torture in Jordan (Public statement, 26 February 2007) 

Campaign to Counter Terror With Justice 

Country

Algeria 
UK 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

Issue

Detention 
Prison Conditions 
Torture And Ill-treatment 

Campaigns

Security with Human Rights 

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