World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


European Court blocks last hope for British Saudi

14 January 2014
European Court blocks last hope for British Saudi torture victims

The European Court of Human Rights ruling that three British men who say they were tortured in prison in Saudi Arabia cannot pursue a claim through the UK courts is a retrograde step which dashes any hope of justice, said Amnesty International.

The ruling blocks any opportunity for further legal action. A fourth victim died before the case was decided.

“This is a retrograde step. Unless the UK government enters into diplomatic negotiations with Saudi Arabia for compensation, this decision dashes the victims’ hopes for justice,” said Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International’s deputy director of the Law and Policy programme.

“There was never any prospect of obtaining justice in Saudi Arabia and the only option for these men was to bring the case through the UK courts. This is a major blow for not just for these men but victims of torture globally.”

After more than 10 years of litigation, the ruling comes as a final blow to the expatriate workers who were arrested in Riyadh in 2000 and 2001. Ronald Jones, Alexander Mitchell, Leslie Walker and William Sampson were arrested in Riyadh, were accused of involvement in a bombing campaign launched by opposition groups. They were held for periods of between 67 days and more than two and a half years.

During their detention they allege they were subjected to sustained periods of torture including solitary confinement, beatings, suspension, sleep deprivation, rape and mind altering drugs.

The men took their case to the European Court of Human Rights after the House of Lords ruled that the case could not proceed on grounds that Saudi Arabia and its officials could not be sued in UK courts under the international law principle of state immunity.

“International law was never intended to provide shelter to torturers. If the UK Government is serious about leading the fight against torture it must now change the law to ensure that victims can initiate legal proceedings before UK Courts,” said Tawanda Hondora.

“All States, including the UK, must do more to stamp out the global scourge of torture. Denying justice to victims only fans the practice and gives succour to those who undertake this reprehensible practice.”

AI Index: PRE01/012/2014

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>


Pacific: 5 West Papuan Prisoners Granted Clemency/media Bans Lifted

5 West Papuan prisoners granted clemency/media bans lifted for foreign journalists wanting to visit West Papua. More>>

UN Deplores Deadly Attack On ‘blue Helmets’ In DR Congo

Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of Congo (in suit) tells Tanzanian peacekeepers he strongly admires them despite the tragic loss of 2 comrades as they continue to actively protect the population. ... More>>

ALSO:

Liberia On The Way To Being Declared ‘Ebola Free'

Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Mark Garten More>>

ALSO:

UN Labour Agency Set To Ramp Up Operations In Nepal

A man in Goddamchour Lalitpur trying to clear debris from the first floor of his house, as communities look for ways to start rebuilding their lives after the powerful earthquake devastated Nepal. Photo: UNDP Nepal/Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news