09 Dec 2005
The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes the unanimous ruling by the House of Lords that secret evidence obtained through torture cannot be regarded as admissible in British courts.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the Secretary-General of the MCB said:
“Allowing torture evidence in our Courts would have been tantamount to condoning the inhumane and degrading treatment of suspects elsewhere in the world. We are delighted that the highest Court of the land has reaffirmed the well established principle of international law that the use of torture is a crime and can never be acceptable. We expect the government to take serious note of the huge implications of this historic judgement by refusing to accept evidence which it has reason to believe has been obtained through torture and to remind all concerned that the use of torture is an internationally prosecutable offence. That our government should in the case before the Lords have been arguing in favour of admission of evidence which could have been obtained by torture is nothing short of disgraceful as was its recently defeated proposal to hold terror suspects for as long as 90 days without charge. We call upon the government to pay more than lip service to protecting fundamental human rights.’
The ruling now requires the Government to re-examine all cases where evidence from abroad has been obtained through torture. This includes the cases of the eight detainees held without charge on suspicion of being involved in terrorism.
The MCB urges the Government to review these cases urgently to ensure that the current detention of these eight individuals is not influenced by material gained through the use of torture.
The MCB will be closely monitoring the way in which this landmark judgement by the House of Lords is implemented by the lower courts as well as by the government.[ENDS]