British Court Orders Release Of Torture Evidence In Extraordinary Rendition Case
Ruling May Affect British Resident's Case In ACLU Lawsuit Against Boeing Subsidiary For Its Role In Unlawful Extraordinary Rendition Program
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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union commended today's ruling by a British court that the British government must release evidence of torture in the case of British resident Binyam Mohamed, who was captured in Pakistan and detained in Morocco, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay as part of the Bush administration's extraordinary rendition program. While in detention, Mohamed was subjected to physical and psychological abuse by his captors. Upon his release, Mohamed sought documents from the British government that would confirm that U.K. officials were aware of and complicit in his abuse by U.S. forces. Today's ruling orders the disclosure of seven previously suppressed paragraphs from an earlier court ruling that summarize British government documents related to Mohamed's detention and torture while under the control of U.S. authorities.
Mohamed is the lead plaintiff in the ACLU's lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan for its role in the extraordinary rendition program. The lawsuit charges that Jeppesen knowingly participated in the forcible disappearance and torture of Mohamed and four other men by providing critical flight planning and logistical support services to the aircraft and crews used by the CIA to carry out their extraordinary rendition. The U.S. government has sought to prevent the case from moving forward by invoking the state secrets privilege.
The following can be attributed to Ben Wizner, staff attorney for the ACLU National Security Project:
"The suppression of government documents confirming Binyam Mohamed's rendition and torture by the United States has never been about protecting secrets; it has always been about preventing legal accountability for torture. There is absolutely nothing in the newly released documents that was not already widely known. The British court's ruling will further undermine the Obama administration's efforts to use dubious claims of state secrets to prevent accountability for torturers and justice for victims. After today's developments, it would be a farce if Binyam Mohamed and other victims of U.S. torture policies were denied their day in court."
More information about the ACLU's lawsuit, Mohamed, et al. v. Jeppesen, is available online at: www.aclu.org/jeppesen