AI Index: EUR 45/004/2012
18 January 2012
UK: European Court Rulin g Sends Mixed Message on Torture: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch & Justice joint statement
The European Court of Human Rights ruling on 17 January 2012 against the deportation of a Jordanian national from the United Kingdom could have serious consequences for human rights protection in Europe, said three nongovernmental organizations that intervened in the case.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and JUSTICE said that the court’s conclusion that Omar Othman (also known as “Abu Qatada”) cannot be deported from the UK was important. The court’s conclusion was based on the fact that any trial in Jordan would probably involve the use of testimony from other people who had been tortured, amounting to a “flagrant denial” of his fair trial rights.
However, the Court also found that deporting Abu Qatada based on diplomatic assurances negotiated between the Jordanian and UK governments would not violate the ban on sending a person to a place where he was at real risk of torture, despite evidence presented by the three groups in the case that such promises do not reliably or appropriately reduce that risk.