For Immediate Release
Amnesty International Urges the United Kingdom to Establish the Truth about Rights Violations
WASHINGTON - Amnesty International
is calling on the United Kingdom to make the full truth known about alleged
human rights violations against people held overseas during counter-terrorism
operations after it was reported a dozen men are to receive a financial
settlement following legal action.
The move to pay compensation follows legal
action brought by six former detainees alleging U.K.
responsibility for their detention, torture and ill-treatment.
"Financial compensation can be an
important part of the right to remedy and reparation for victims of grave
human rights violations," said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central
Asia program director. "However, it remains only one part."
“The need for full and public disclosure
of the truth about human rights violations and the duty of states to hold
those responsible to account remains essential and must not be swept aside,"
Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el Banna, Richard
Belmar, Omar Deghayes, Binyam Mohamed and Martin Mubanga had taken legal
action against the U.K.
authorities. The men were seeking damages over the government’s role in
human rights violations they suffered during their rendition to and detention
at various locations, including Guantanamo Bay.
Media reports said the government decided
to make the payments in order to avoid possible disclosures about the activities
of the intelligence services in court cases involving former detainees.
Lawyers acting for the U.K.
government have repeatedly sought to prevent disclosure of relevant material,
and had argued for closed procedures allowing courts to consider secret
material presented by U.K.
authorities in closed sessions.
“To date the rights to access justice
for these former detainees have been obstructed by persistent efforts on
the part of the U.K.
Amnesty International takes no position on
the appropriateness of the particular payments announced in these cases.
government to prevent disclosure of evidence relevant to these allegations,"
said Duckworth. “A human rights commission of inquiry is needed to establish
the truth about what happened."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning
grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters,
activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human
rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates
and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice,
freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
We are people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.