British Court Orders Release of Torture Evidence in Extraordinary Rendition Case

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Robyn Shepherd, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org

British Court Orders Release of Torture Evidence in Extraordinary Rendition Case

Ruling May Affect British Resident's Case in ACLU Lawsuit Against Boeing Subsidiary for Its Role in Unlawful Extraordinary Rendition Program

NEW YORK - The
American Civil Liberties Union commended today's ruling by a British
court that the British government must release evidence of torture in
the case of British resident Binyam Mohamed, who was captured in
Pakistan and detained in Morocco, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay as
part of the Bush administration's extraordinary rendition program.
While in detention, Mohamed was subjected to physical and psychological
abuse by his captors. Upon his release, Mohamed sought documents from
the British government that would confirm that U.K. officials were
aware of and complicit in his abuse by U.S. forces. Today's ruling
orders the disclosure of seven previously suppressed paragraphs from an
earlier court ruling that summarize British government documents
related to Mohamed's detention and torture while under the control of
U.S. authorities.

Mohamed is the lead plaintiff in the
ACLU's lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan for its role
in the extraordinary rendition program. The lawsuit charges that
Jeppesen knowingly participated in the forcible disappearance and
torture of Mohamed and four other men by providing critical flight
planning and logistical support services to the aircraft and crews used
by the CIA to carry out their extraordinary rendition. The U.S.
government has sought to prevent the case from moving forward by
invoking the state secrets privilege.

The following can be attributed to Ben Wizner, staff attorney for the ACLU National Security Project:

"The suppression of government
documents confirming Binyam Mohamed's rendition and torture by the
United States has never been about protecting secrets; it has always
been about preventing legal accountability for torture. There is
absolutely nothing in the newly released documents that was not already
widely known. The British court's ruling will further undermine the
Obama administration's efforts to use dubious claims of state secrets
to prevent accountability for torturers and justice for victims. After
today's developments, it would be a farce if Binyam Mohamed and other
victims of U.S. torture policies were denied their day in court."

More information about the ACLU's lawsuit, Mohamed, et al. v. Jeppesen, is available online at: www.aclu.org/jeppesen

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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