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British and US government must apologise for torture - Anderson

17 December, 2014 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the British and US governments must apologise for the use of torture.

Speaking during a European Parliament debate on torture by the CIA, Ms Anderson said;

"The senate report into torture by the CIA made for alarming, if unsurprising reading.

"The British government used the same techniques as the CIA when it tortured 14 Irish men interned more than 40 years ago.

"The case of the 'Hooded Men' led to the only instance where a European member state took another member state to the European Court of Human Rights.

"In 1976 the European Commission on Human Rights ruled that the British government was guilty of torture and inhumane and degrading treatment. The case was then referred to the European Court of Human Rights.

"In 1978, after pressure from the British government the European Court of Human Rights overturned that ruling and found that the five techniques used against the internees amounted to inhumane and degrading treatment - but not torture.

"Recently uncovered information showed the British government lied to the European Court of Human Rights on the effects of the techniques the hooded men were subjected to.

"These techniques were sanctioned at the highest level of the British government by the then minister of defence, Lord Carrington.

"In fact the US Attorney General justified the use of torture techniques in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay by quoting the EU Court's 1978 ruling on the Hooded Men.

"Now at last the Irish government has referred the Hooded Men case back to the European Court of Human Rights to revise its judgement.

"The British government must apologise for its use of torture techniques and the US government must do the same."

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