[Pnews] UK rendition victim released after ten years in secret US custody
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 15 11:49:05 EDT 2014
*UK rendition victim released after ten years in secret US custody*
The US has released Yunus Rahmatullah, a Pakistani citizen held at
Bagram Airbase for ten years without charge, trial, or access to a
lawyer after his capture by British forces in Iraq and subsequent
rendition to Afghanistan in 2004.
After years of government denials that the UK had been involved in any
rendition operations, Mr Rahmatullah's capture by British forces was
finally revealed to Parliament in February 2009 by then-Secretary of
State for Defence John Hutton. Despite admitting playing a part in Mr
Rahmatullah's illegal detention and transfer, the government persisted
in refusing to assist him. As a result legal action was brought on Mr
The UK government subsequently revealed that British officials were
aware of a US intention to transfer Mr Rahmatullah from Iraq to
Afghanistan at the time, yet did nothing to prevent it. In 2012, the UK
Supreme Court suggested that his rendition may have amounted to a war
"The, presumably forcible, transfer of Mr Rahmatullah from Iraq to
Afghanistan is, at least prima facie, a breach of article 49 [of the
fourth Geneva Convention]. On that account alone, his continued
detention post-transfer is unlawful." Mr Rahmatullah is said to be in a
grave mental and physical condition as a result of sustained abuse in UK
and subsequently US custody.
The news comes as the US Senate's Intelligence Committee prepares to
release its long-awaited report on the use of torture by the CIA, which
is expected to implicate UK officials in the abuses of the 'war on terror.'
Legal charity Reprieve and law firm Leigh Day have brought legal
proceedings on Mr Rahmatullah's behalf to force the UK government fully
to investigate his rendition and torture.
Kat Craig, Legal Director at Reprieve, said: "After ten years of
unimaginable abuse and imprisonment at the hands the British and US
forces, Yunus Rahmatullah deserves a full investigation into the
circumstances of his capture. He must receive justice, so that he and
his family can move on and return to some semblance of their old,
peaceful life. As its pernicious role in the worst abuses of the 'war on
terror' continues to come to light, the British government must hold its
hands up and right the wrongs of the past."
Notes to editors
1. For further information, please contact Reprieve's Press Office on:
alice.gillham at reprieve.org.uk <mailto:alice.gillham at reprieve.org.uk> /
+44 (0) 207 553 8160/ +44 (0)7792 351 660
2. The 2012 Supreme Court judgment is available on request.
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