For Immediate Release
Update: Court of Appeal hearing on rendition and torture to take place tomorrow (13th)
A Court of Appeal hearing concerning the 2004 kidnap, torture and ‘rendition’ of Yunus Rahmatullah by UK and US forces has been postponed until 10am tomorrow (Friday 13th).
The case is being brought by legal charity Reprieve and solicitors Leigh Day on behalf of Yunus Rahmatullah (32), who was captured in Iraq by the UK, tortured and held in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, before being ‘rendered’ to Afghanistan by the US. He then faced a decade of detention without charge or trial in Bagram prison, before being released in 2014.
Tomorrow, Mr Rahmatullah’s lawyers are appealing a previous decision by the High Court that the Government could rely on the ‘Crown Act of State’ doctrine, which the Government argues prevents the court from intervening in executive acts abroad, even if they were unlawful. If the High Court’s judgment is allowed to stand, the ability to hold the state accountable for serious abuses abroad will be limited.
Commenting, Kat Craig, legal director at Reprieve and Mr Rahmatullah’s lawyer, said: “If Yunus’ ordeal had taken place on British soil, there is no question that the Government would have faced serious consequences. Instead of accepting responsibility for Yunus’ appalling mistreatment, the Government is now seeking to put itself above the law. It has to be hoped that the Court of Appeal rejects this shameful attempt to frustrate justice.”
Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.