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© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

1


P
HYSICIANS FOR
H
UMAN
R
IGHTS
-

UK

“...From harm and injustice...”



Report to the

United Nations Committee against Torture



Response to the UK Government’s Fourth Report under Article 19 of
the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degra
ding Treatment or Punishment


2004









Physicians for Human Rights


UK


PHR
-
UK is a human rights organis
ation that was established in London in 1989. Its
membership is made up almost entirely of health professionals. It seeks to bring a
medical perspe
ctive to human rights while promoting an awareness and appreciation of
human rights within the medical community.



Registered Office:

91 Harlech Road, Abbots Langley,

Herts. WD5 0BE. United Kingdom


Charity No. 1078420

Ltd. Co. No. 0379 2515


www.phruk.org



Acknowledgements


This report stems from a conference on
the health and human rights of unlawful
detainees, held at the Middlesex
H
ospital, London on June 26, 2004. PHR
-
UK would like
to thank the participants of

that conference, particularly the speakers
Ms Gareth Peirce,
Professor Ian Robbins, Professor Gisli Gudjonsson, Ms Louise Arimatsu, Baro
ness Sarah
Ludford MEP and Mr. Azmat

Begg

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

2



Contents



1
.

Lawfulness of detention within the UK


1
.
1

A
nti
-
T
erroris
m
C
rime and Security Act 2001


1
.
2

C
ommon law informal stay in mental hospital



2.

Health provision in places of detention, including prisons


2
.1

P
sychiatric care in prison


2.2

C
ontaining potentially fatal diseases


2.3

P
rimary healthcare provisi
on in prisons


2.4

Health care of prisoners detained under the Anti
-
terrorism,
Crime and Security Act 2001



3.

Use of evidence obtained from torture



3.1

Evidence obtained from allies


3.2

List of coercive methods defined as torture and/or i
ll treatment


3.3

False confessions obtained during torture


3.4

Making use of information obtained during torture



4.

Use of force with failed asylum claimants


4.1

Failed asylum seekers allege use of force caused injuries


4.2

Forma
l investigation into allegations of harm resulting from

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

3



use of force


4.2.1

Backgound and methodology


4.2.2

Results



5.

F
ailure to protect detained citizens and residents from

torture

overseas


5.1

Allegations that the Foreign O
ffice failed UK citizens


5.1.1

Failure to honour obligations towards UK residents



5.1.1

Action against the interest of a UK resident


5.2

Belated acknowledgment that UK citizens may be suffering


ill treatment


5.2.1

Prime Minister admits U
K citizens detained by the US


have alleged ill treatment


5.2.2

Foreign Office acknowledges UK citizen in Guantanamo


Bay alleges ill treatment


5.3

Details of allegations of ill treatment



6.


Extradition to a State where there are substanti
al

grounds
for believing a person

would be in danger of being tortured



6.1

UK
-
US Extradition Treaty


6.2

Extradition to face the Death Penalty or Death Row


6.3

Extradition without a prima facie evidence requirement


6
.4

Extradition to Guantanamo Bay



© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

4

7.

R
ole in interrogating detainees overseas


7.1

Abu Ghraib


7.2

Interrogation of hooded detainee in Iraq


7.3

Medical supervision of torture and follow
-
up by the General



Medical Council
.


7.4

Accountability for abuses by the UK military in Iraq



8
.

T
raining of
professionals

who encounter detainees


8.1


Diplomats


8
.
2

Interrogators


8
.
3

Custodians


8
.4

Health professionals




















© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

5

1.

Lawfulnes
s of detention within the UK


1
.
1


A
nti
-
T
errorism
C
rime and Security Act 2001

(ATCSA)


Part 4 of ATCSA deals with the treatment of suspected terrorists who
are non
-
nationals of the UK
. Such suspects who
, fearing danger
,
choose not to retu
rn to their c
ountry of origin
, may be detained
without trial for an unlimited period. Their case may be considered by
the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

(SIAC)
, but neither the
detainee nor their lawyer may see the evidence against them.



1.1.1

Derogation from

International Human Rights Treaties


This has necessitated derogating from
the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, Article 9, and the European Convention on
Human Rights, Article 5(1)(f). Such derogations have been the subject
of comment
s by the UN Human Rights Committee
(CCPR/CO/73/UKOT) and the Council of Europe Human Rights
Commissioner (opinion 1/2002). Both the Parliamentary Joint Human
Rights Committee and the Privy Council Review Committee (often
referred to as the Newton Committee
) have expressed doubts about
the need for such wide powers.


PHR
-
UK believes that the views of these expert bodies should be
given very careful consideration.


1.1.2

Indefinite Detention without Trial


Some detainees report that they were never questioned
, and so have
no idea why they are detained.
One suspect, known as “D” who was
reported to be an Algerian in his early 30s, was freed after three years
on September 20, 2004
. In July 2004
, SIAC had upheld his continued
detention. When told by his solicitor

he was to be released, all he
could say was, “I don’t understand, I don’t understand.”
1

The
uncertainty related to indefinite detention for reasons that are not
understood

can have a serious psychological impact on persons.





1

UK frees Algerian terror suspect, September 20, 2004, www.CNN.com, accessed Septembe
r 22, 2004.


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

6

A number of the
ATCSA
detaine
es
are reported to have
developed
psychiatric
illnesses of such severity
that they have
either
been
transferred to
house arrest or Broadmoor
high security hospital
or are
being considered for Broadmoor.
2

A

38
-
year
-
old Libyan
known as
‘M’, claimed

that two
detainees

at Belmarsh high security prison,
which houses
ATCSA
detainees

act as full
-
time carers for their fellow
detainee
s because they are now so obviously sick. He
said

that
a
prison officer
once woke him

at
three in the morning

to ask

him
to
look after


G
’, before G was transferred to house arrest.
3


PHR
-
UK cannot understand how s
ubjecting foreign detainees to
conditions which bring about a breakdo
wn in their mental health
can

be reconciled with the obligations set out in Articles 11 and
1
6.


1.1.3

Disc
riminatory effect of ATCSA


Because the ATCSA treats non
-
nationals within territory under the
UK’s jurisdiction in a different way from nati
onals, it has a
discriminatory e
ffect.

The
C
ommittee on the
E
limination of
R
acial
D
iscrimination

in its concluding o
bservations to the UK

s
periodic

report
said in 2003,


The Committee is deeply concerned about
provisions of the Anti
-
Terrorism Crime and Security Act which
provide for the indefinite detention without charge or trial, pending
deportation, of non
-
UK
nation
als who are suspected of

terrorism
-
related activities.”
4




PHR
-
UK
believ
es that the treatment of non
-
nationals of the UK,

who are suspected of terrorism
-
related activities
, should be

non
-
discriminatory.


1.2



Absence of safeguards for an
informal sta
y in mental
hospital




2

The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, The Psychiatric Problems of Detainees under
the 2001 Anti
-
Terrorism Crime and Security Act (2004) London.


3

Belmarsh detainees consider suicide, says freed man, Audrey Gillan, Fri
day April 23, 2004 The Guardian.


4

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to the UK’s
periodic report, para. 17, (CERD/C/63/CO/11) August 18, 2003.


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

7


It is possible for a person with severe learning disabilities to be held
informally in a psychiatric hospital for a number of months without
the safeguards applying to patients who are compulsorily admitted to
such hospitals under the

1983 Me
ntal Health Act.


The
European
Court

of Human Rights

recently expressed concern
about

the lack of any fixed procedural rules by which the admission
and detention of compliant incapacitated patients was conducted.
The
y

contrast
ed

this

with the

dear
th of regulation and the extensive
network of safeguards applicable to psychiatric com
mittals covered
by the 1983 Mental Health Act.


In a case concerning an
autistic

man who was

unable to speak,
whose

level of

understanding was limited
,

who

frequently
be
came
agitated, who

had

a history of
self
-
harming behaviour and

lack
ed

the
capacity to consent or object to medical treatment
, the Court
found
a
failure

to protect against arbitrary deprivations of liberty on grounds
of necessity and, consequently, to compl
y with the essential purpose
of Article

5 § 1

of the European Convention on Human Rights
.
5


Human rights s
afeguards must be provided for
patients with
psychological difficulties who fall outside the 1983 Mental
Health Act
.


2.

Health provision in places o
f detention, including prisons



2.1


P
sychiatric care in prison


2.1.1

Prison suicides


Prison suicides have continued to increase in recent years
.
6

32% of
suicides take place within 7 days of reception. 49%
occurred among

remand (unsentenced) prisoners.
17% of suicides
happened

in prison



5

The European Court of Human Rights,
H.L. v. the United Kin
gdom

(application no. 45508/99) 5.10.2004.


6

Prison suicides hit record high, BBC news, September 3, 2004
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/3622920.stm

(accessed 23/10/04).


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

8

health care centres. 60% of these died within 7 days of admission
and 42 % were under medium or high levels of supervision
.
7


Suicide prevention methods should be
particularly
concentrated
in the
first seven days followin
g reception.


2.1.2

Environmental factors in mental illness amongst
prisoners


In a recent research study, p
risoners report
ed

that
the prison
environment contributed to poor mental health, and intense feelings
of anger, frustration, and anxiety. Prisoners
said they misused drugs
to relieve long hours of tedium
.
8

28% of male sentenced prisoners
with evidence of psychosis reported spending twenty
-
three or more
hours a day in their cells. This is twice as long as those without
mental health problems
.
9

Prolonge
d periods within cells do not meet
standards required by the European Committee for the Prevention of
Torture and In
human or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment
(CPT)
.
10


Prisoners should be afforded exercise and recreational
opportunities appropriate to thei
r health needs.


2.1.3

Delays in obtaining appropriate care for prisoners


Research suggests that there are up to 500 patients in prison health
care centres with mental health problems sufficiently severe to
require immediate admission to N
ational
H
ealth
S
ervice (NHS)

hospitals. Prisoners diagnosed as having a severe mental illness
requiring transfer to an NHS facility, often wait months to be



7

Suicide by Prisoners. National Clinical Survey, Shaw J et al, British Journal of Psychiatry, 2004 Mar;
184: 263
-
7.


8

Nurse J, Woodcock P, Orsmby J. Influence of environmental factors on mental health within prisons:
focus group study, British Medical
Journal 2003; 327: 480.


9

Prison Reform Trust Factfile, July 2004 p18. London.


10

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punis hment.
The CPT s tandards. para 47 p 17, para 53 p 34 http://www.cpt.coe.int/en/
docs s tandards.htm. (acces s ed
22/10/2004).



© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

9

transferred. During the delay they do not receive the same standard
of psychiatric care they will receive afterward
s
.
11

Delays in transfer
do not meet the standards of health care required by the CPT
.
12


Courts should divert mentally ill offenders away from custodial
sentences or into appropriate hospital or other treatment
facilities.


P
sychiatric serv
ices for prisoners

should be equivalent to w
hat
they would receive in the NHS. Prisoners with severe mental
illness should be transferred as soon as possible to NHS
psychiatric facilities.


2.1.4

Inappropriate staffing and inadequate staff training


Health personnel are o
ften not specially trained in mental health,
thereby providing inadequate levels of care
.
13

Prison Officers are
being taken off suicide watch and replaced by less qualified staff
because the system is overwhelmed by an epidemic of self harm.
Uniformed “oper
ational support staff” often cover for fully trained
officers at night

-

the very time when prisoners, locked in their cells,
are most at risk of killing themselves
.
14

S
taff training does not the
meet standards of health care required by CPT
.
15


Sufficient p
rison p
ersonnel
with

adequate psychiatric training

should be on duty at all times, especially when prisoners are at
greatest risk
.





11

John Reed, Mental Health Care in Prisons, The British Journal of Psychiatry (2003) 182: 287
-
288.


12

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and I
nhuman or Degrading Treatment or

Punis hment.
The CPT s ta
ndards. para 37 p 31, para 43 p32 http://www.cpt.coe.int/en/docs s tandards.htm. (acces s ed
22/10/2004).


13

John Reed, Mental Health Care in Pris ons, The Britis h Journal of Ps ychiatry (2003) 182: 287
-
288.


14

Bright M., Prison suicides soar as jails hire “ba
bysitters”, The Observer, October 17, 2004.


15

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punis hment.
The CPT s tandards. para 43 p 32, para 57 p 35
htt
p://www.cpt.coe.int/en/docs s tandards.htm

(accessed
22/10/2004).


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

10

2.1.5

Insufficient information on prisoners’ mental health
history


Transfer of information is of vital importance.
A nation
al survey
showed that, of

those patients with a history of contact with NHS
mental health services, an attempt was made
by prison services
to
gather clinical information in only 17% of cases. Information from
their primary care physician was only obtained
in 16% of cases.
16


The full medical history, including
the
mental health record of
each prisoner should be available to prison health personnel at
all times.


2.2


C
ontaining potentially fatal diseases

2.2.1

Risks arising from shared needles

Prison is a hi
gh risk environment for the spread of potentially fatal
diseases, particularly Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV),
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The infecting agents, especially HIV,
are most commonly spread worldwide during unprotected sexual
activity, but

also by contaminated needles.


A large number of people in prisons report drug misuse. On average
24% of prisoners report that they have injected drugs of whom 30%
continue to inject whilst in prisons. Three quarters of those who
injected shared needles
or syringes
.
17


Since April 2004
,

sterilising bleach tablets have been introduced to
clean needles. There are, however, no needle exchange programmes
in UK prisons. Health professionals consider that disinfecting tablets
are not as effective as sterile need
les in preventing spread of HIV
and Hepatitis B. There is no evidence that introduction of a needle



16

Suicide by Prisoners, National Clinical Survey, Shaw J et al, British Journal of Psychiatry, 2004 Mar;
184: 263
-
7.


17

Prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B and Hepatitis C antibodies in pris one
rs in England and Wales, Weild et al,
Communicable Dis eas e and Public Health, 2000 Jun; 3(2): 121
-
6.


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

11

exchange programme l
eads to an increase in injected

drug use in
prisons
.
18


The government should make clean needles availa
ble to
prisoners to
prevent

the sp
read of potentially fatal disease in
prison.


2.2.2

Risks arising from unprotected sex


Condom use is a simple public health measure to minimise
the
spread of
sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, Hepatitis B
and Hepatitis C.

In Canada, condoms
are easily and discretely available in all prisons.
Inmates can collect them from baskets without needing to interact
with prison staff and so
can
avoid embarrassment.
19


.

The Aids
A
dvisory Committee in 1995 recommended in its Prison
service review that “c
ondoms and lubricants be made easily
accessible to prisoners throughout their period of detention”
.
20

The
reality is that condoms are not readily available and having to obtain
condoms on prescription does not meet this requirement
.
21

Re
strict
ed access to u
nused needles and condoms does not meet the
standards of health care required by the CPT
.
22


The government should make
condoms readily

availa
ble to
prisoners to
prevent

the spread of potentially fatal disease in
prison.


2.2.3

Risks from inter
-
prisoner vio
lence




18

H


Stover,


Monograph: Drug and HIV/AIDS Services In European Prisons, Oldenburg: BIS
-
Verlag,
2002, 240 S.


19

Fighting AIDS in America’s prisons, Brent

Staples, International Herald Tribune, October 21, 2004.


20

National Aids Trus t, The UK res pons e to the HIV epidemic
,

An assessment of the U.K’s compliance
with the UNGASS declaration of commitment on HIV/AIDS Section 2.3.3.


21

Pers onal communication from

Dr. Simon Wils on
,

Cons ultant Forens ic Ps ychiatris t
,

Her Majesty’s Prison
Brixton
,

on file with PHR
-
UK.


22

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punis hment,
The CPT s tandards. para 31 p 29
http://www.cpt.coe.int/en/docs s tandards.htm

(accessed 22/10/2004).


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

12


There is also a lack of preventative measures to prevent rape and
sexual abuse. This is exemplified by one prisoner’s experience.


“I was 25 when I was banged up. I was also on anti HIV
combination therapy before I went to jail. After months of regu
lar
beatings this big, mean and menacing bloke has summoned me to
his cell. He said he’d decided to take me under his wing. You can’t
say no

-

I wouldn’t be here if I had. In the beginning we would have
sex every day, sometimes three times a day. Now condo
ms are hard
to come by in prison. As I went down to the medical quarters twice a
day (to get my medication), I used to ask there. But I was rationed to
one a day. I was told that if I took the dirty condom back to prove it
had been used they would give me
more. But even taking dirty
condoms back didn’t always guarantee fresh supplies. I doubt the
authorities would admit it, but prisoners are constantly treated for
sexually transmitted diseases. It goes on daily. If I hadn’t gone in
with HIV, I’d have been d
amned surprised if I hadn’t come out with
it
.”
23


The failure to
monitor violence in order

to protect prisoners does not
meet the standards required by the CPT
.
24


The government should
implement measures to prevent inter
-
prisoner violence that can spread po
tentially fatal disease within
prison.


2.3

P
rimary healthcare provision in prisons


2.
3.1

Need for specialis
ed preparation for prison health care


In a reorganisation of health services in England in April 2002, over
three hundred primary care tr
usts (PCT
s
) were created with
responsibilities for providing primary health care, improving health,
and commissioning secondary (specialist) care services.
Two

years



23

+ve online, October 2000, Prisoner Cell Block HIV (
www.howsthat.co.uk/000/10/001005
.htm).


24

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punis hment.
The CPT s tandards. para 60 p 35
http://www.cpt.coe.int/en/docs s tandards.htm

(access
ed 22/10/2004).


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

13

later, as part of a planned transfer of responsibility from the former
prison medical serv
ice, the first wave of PCTs took on
commissioni
ng responsibility for prisoners’

health care.


Prisoners should be provided with a broadly equivalent range and
quality of services as the general public
, yet PCTs “
have not yet had
time to become effective ne
gotiators in their commissioning
relations with acute care providers or to develop their p
lanning and
purchasing capacity.”
25

For example, the House of Commons
Science and Technology
Select Committee recently concluded that
PCTs do not have the necessary ex
pertise to commission specialist
services effectively.
26

Primary
care trusts need to have adequate
training and experience to provide the specialist services required
within the prison environment.


To ensure that the transfer of responsibility of care for
prisoners
to PCTs is effective, the government must ensure adequate
training, collaboration and monitoring.


2.
3.2


Need for access to prisoners’

medical histories


Electronic patient
health
records and access to electronic
information resources are the

cornerstones of delivery of modern
primary care. However modern information technology is
lacking in
prison primary care. T
he main perceived barriers being concerns
about potential breaches of security and discipline in prisons,
anxiety about data securit
y and a culture that gives low pr
iority to
health in prisons.
27


Those responsible for the health care of prisoners must have a
ccess
to information about the

medical histories

of those in their charge
.
Improving health information by introducing electronic
records
should not be obstructed by issues of security if equivalence of care
is to be given.




25

Primary Care Trusts, Walshe K, Smith J, Dixon J et al., British Medical Journal, 2004; 329: 871
-
872.


26

Cancer patients failed by local trus ts, s ay MPs, S. Bos ley, The Guardian, October 27, 2004.


27

Delivering primary care in pris on: the

need to improve health information, Anaraki S et al., Information
in Primary Care, 2003; 11(4): 191
-
4.


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

14


The full medical history, including the mental health record of
each prisoner should be available to prison health personnel at
all times.


2.
3.3

Health care

of older prisoners and those with chronic
diseases


In 2002 there were 1,359 prisoners aged over sixty, 85% of whom
had one or more major illnesses, which usually require multiple drug
regimes and careful monitoring. A number of academic studies and a
rep
ort by the Prison Reform Trust and the Centre for Policy on
Ageing have concluded that the health needs of older prisoners are
n
ot being satisfactorily met.
28




In 1997 a young remand prisoner was shackled to his bed shortly
before death.
29

The failure to r
elease a prisoner who was near death,
and the withholding of palliative care does not meet the standards of
health care required by the CPT.
30


The government should ensure that the health needs of older
people or those with chronic disease in prison are in
vestigated
and met.


2.4

H
ealth care o
f prisoners detained under the Anti
-
terrorism,
Crime and Security A
ct 2001


2.
4.
1

Conditions of detention influencing the mental health of
detainees


The mental heath of the detainees has been harmed by the conditions

of detention. Each one of the fourteen men then incarcerated in



28

Prison Reform Trust Factfile, July 2004


p16 London.


29

Developing effective palliative care within a pris on s etting, Wilford T., International Journ
al Palliative
Nurs ing, 2001 Nov 7 (11): 528
-
30.


30

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punis hment.
The CPT s tandards. para 31 p 29, para 70 p 37
http://www.cpt.coe.int/en/docs s tandards.htm

(accessed
22/10/2004).


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

15

Belmarsh Prison indefinitely as terrorist suspects had developed a
serious mental disorder by June 2004.
31



The mental health of detainees was put at risk by the following
conditions of deten
tion found by the CPT during its inspection of
detainees held on February 17 2002:


(1).

inadequate access to psychological support and psychiatric care
especially as some detainees had a history of mental disorder, of
being tortured, or were under threat

of torture if returned to their
own country;


(2).

the stress involved in being unable to contest detention and the
indefinite nature of detention; and


(3).

the limited nature or lack of out
-
of
-
cell time and purposeful
activities of a varied nature.
32



Every effort should be made to reduce those restrictions that
harm the mental health of those detained under ATCSA 2001


2.
4.2

The standard of health care


Allegations were made that medical treatment which had been
initiated before detention was disconti
nued following arrival in
prison, and that medical confidentiality was not respected in that
some consultations and examinations took place in the presence of
custodial staff.


Some medical records were inadequately maintained giving no
indication of the r
easons for prescribing psychotropic (for mental



31

I Robbins, Physicians for Human Rights


UK Conference presentation
-

The health and human rights of
unlawful detainees, Middlesex Hospital, London, June 26, 2004.


32

Report on the vi
s it to

the United Kingdom carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of
Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punis hment
-

17 to 21 February 2002. CPT. Stras bourg,
February 12, 2003.


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

16

disorders) drugs, their dosage, or the person who had prescribed
them.
33


D
etainees should continue to receive the medical treatment
provided before detention, unless it is unnecessary or
contraindicated, in w
hich case the patient should be fully
informed, and the decision recorded
.


Medical confidentiality should be respected and, unless there are
compelling reasons, medical consultations should be in private.
A full record of prescribed and administered trea
tment should
be maintained.



3.

Use of evidence obtained from torture


3.1

Evidence obtained from allies

or others


There is a growing concern that the UK might find it difficult to
comply with Article 15 by relying on evidence, possibly supplied

by
an
ally
,

that

has been obtained from torture.
The International
Committee of the Red Cross has complained of difficulty in obtaining
access to detainees

held by allies
, and while this remains, there is a
danger that such detainees are being subjected t
o torture.
34



3.2

List of coercive methods defined as torture and/or ill treatment


The US Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human
Rights Practices regularly list the following as torture and/or ill
treatment:




Sleep deprivation



Forced an
d prolonged positioning



Forced nakedness, sexual threats and humiliation




33

Report on the visit to

the United Kingdom carrie
d out by the European Committee for the Prevention of
Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
-

17 to 21 February 2002. CPT. Strasbourg,
February 12, 2003.


34

See for example, Human Rights Watch, The United States’ ‘Disappeared’: The CIA’s

Long
-
Term ‘Ghost
Detainees’, (October 12, 2004) New York, USA.


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

17



Blindfolding or hooding



Isolation or loud music



Witnessing or hearing torture



Mock executions, threats to family and insults
35


It is reported that
these are amongst the practices, som
etimes referred
to as stress and duress methods

or techniques
, employed against
suspected terrorists in recent times.


3.3

False confessions obtained during torture


A d
etainee

whose whereabouts are unknown

Ibn al
-
Shaikh al
-
Libi is
thought to have
con
cocted a story

later relayed to the UN by US
Secretary of State Colin Powell, that Iraq had provided al
-
Quaeda
with training in “poisons and deadly gases.”
36

Three UK citizens from
Tipton in the West Midlands were released from Guantanamo Bay in
March 2004,

having been detained in Northern Afghanistan in
November 2001. Each one, Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel
Ahmed, described being coerced into saying things that were not true
.
Mr. Rasul
even
admitted to being in a video of a rally addressed by
Osama bi
n Laden in Afghanistan at a time when he knew he had been
in England.
37

Mo
az
zam Begg, a UK citizen detained in Guantanamo
Bay, has written a 4
-
page letter to his lawyers detailing the torture he
experienced while detained in Afghanistan and Cuba, and claimi
ng
that statements against him “were signed and initialed under duress”.
38



3.4

Making use of information obtained during torture


Moazzam
Begg’s lawyers have asserted that such statements are
inadmissible, but Britain’s Court of Appeal ruled in August

2004 that
courts could use such evidence, provided British agents were not



35

Physicians for Human Rights, Interrogations, Torture and Ill Treatment: Legal Requirements and Health
Consequences (May 14, 2004) Boston, USA.


36

News week, July 5, 2004.


37

Shafiq Ras ul, As
if Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed, Compos ite s tatement: Detention in Afghanis tan and
Guantanamo Bay, July 26, 2004, Birnberg Peirce and Partners Solicitors, London.


38

Guantánamo Briton 'tortured in US cus tody',

George Wright and agencies, Friday October 1, 2004,
The
Guardian.


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

18

complicit in the violation.
39

Furthermore, in response to the UK
Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray’s allegations concerning the
UK government’s use of intelligence information o
btained under
torture, the Foreign and Commonwealth office is reported to have
said, “Where there was
reliable intelligence with a direct bearing on
terrorist threats it would be impossible to ignore it out of hand.”
40

Clearly, it is difficult to see how th
e knowing use of such material as
evidence in any proceedings could comply with Article 15.


The government should
legislate to ensure that neither the
courts nor the Executive make use of evidence obtained by
torture wherever that torture occurred.


4.


Use of force with failed asylum claimants


4.1

Failed asylum seekers allege use of force caused injuries


There is a growing concern about allegations of
harm occurring
amongst failed asylum seekers. This occurs in detention, during
transfers and on

attempted removal.
To illustrate this, here

is our
interpretation of an extract from a handwritten letter that found its
way to PHR
-
UK from Harmondsworth detention centre
:



“…..the six officers tortured me at the Heathrow airport,
they cracked my head on

the floor at the airport, beat me on my
penis. I bled from my head seriously and on my arms, since
then no doctor has done any examination or x
-
ray…..I would
then be happy if you people could help me with this problem of
my health.”


The writer claims to
have refused to board a plane to the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, because he and h
is family had

been
condemned to death there. He a
ppears to be seeking asylum. He
does not seek help with asylum. H
is letter requests

help with
medical problems that he s
ays have resulted from the incident at
London’s
Heathrow

airport
.






39

Judges in row over torture ruling, Audrey Gillan, Thursday August 12, 2004, The Guardian.


40

Intelligence from tortured Uzbeks attacked, by Stefan Wags tyl, October 11, 2004, Financial Times.

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

19

4.2

Formal investigation into allegations of harm resulting from



use of force


4.2.1

Backgound and methodology


Early in 2004, the London
-
based Medical Foundation for the Care of

Victims of Torture encountered two cases of alleged assault that
demonstrated clinical findings consistent with the allegations.

The
Medical F
oundation sought to investigate this problem, and from
April 19


July 31, 2004, interviewed and medically examin
ed 14
individuals who alleged that they were subject to excessive force
during
their attempted
removal

from the United Kingdom.

Twelve

men and
two

women
from eleven different countries of origin

were
examined.
Their
removal attempts had started in Yarls Wo
od,
Tinsley House, Campsfield House and Harmondsworth removal
centres.


4.2.2

Results


The evidence suggests that
,

in 12 of the 14 cases, excessive or
gratuitous force was used during the attempted removal. The
patterns that emerged from the study
raise
a concern that there may
be a systematic problem of abuse, rather than a number of isolated
incidents. These patterns were:


(i) the use of inappropriate and unsafe methods of force which carry
higher than acceptable injury risk;

(ii) the use of force eve
n after termination of the removal attempt,
often out of sight inside escort vehicles;

(iii) continued use of force even after the detainee had been
restrained; and

(iv) the misuse of handcuffing, which would appear to be deliberate
in some
cases.
41


T
he
Government

should
review its entire process of forcibly
removing failed asylum seekers, with particular regard to
permissible methods and restraints, including the use of




41

The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victim
s of Torture, Harm on Removal: Exces s ive Force agains t
Failed As ylum Seekers (October 2004) London.

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

20

handcuffs
, as well as the

tr
aining in this to ensure that the UK

complies with Articl
e
s 10 and

16.


5.

F
ailure to protect detained citizens and residents from

torture

overseas


5.1

Allegations that the Foreign Office failed UK citizens


PHR
-
UK is very concerned about the reported inv
olvement of Foreign
Office representatives

wit
h UK citizens and residents detained
overseas. Rhuhel Ahmed claims to have been tortured in Afghanistan.
He had also been kept in appalling conditions and deprived of food
and sleep while in detention.
He decided to agree to everything that
was put to him
by his interrogators so that he would be returned to
England.

Psychologically vulnerable people, who are being
questioned in an unpleasant or stressful way, sometimes make a false
confession in order to avoid continuation of the coercion.

Interrogators are

trained to seek out weaknesses that they can play
on.
42

For instance, t
he interrogators at Guantanamo Bay focused their
sexual intimidation upon Muslims who were known to be particularly
devout.
43

Rhuhel Ahmed

says that the British officials could see the
p
oor condition

he wa
s in but did not seem to care. Later, o
n the day he
was
to be
transferred to Guantanamo Bay, a Foreign Office
representative
told him he was going to Cuba, but showed no concern
about his health.


At Guantanamo, Rhuhel Ahmed together wi
th Shafiq Rasul and Asif
Iqbal believe they saw someone from the British Embassy on about
six occasions. All three formed the impression that these officials had
no interest in them
. Also, they seemed to be unable to act on the
detainees’ complaints, since

nothing changed
.
Asif says Embassy
officials

acted as third interrogators on more than one occasion,
asking questions that had nothing to do with their welfare.

Although




42

G. Gudjons s on,

Phys icians for Human Rights


UK Conference presentation
-

The health and human
rights of unlawful detainees, Middlesex Hospital, London
, June 26, 2004.


43

G. Pierce, Physicians for Human Rights


UK Conference presentation
-

The health and human rights of
unlawful detainees, Middlesex Hospital, London, June 26, 2004.

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

21

they asked the officials about legal representation, they were not told
about a case
being brought through the U.S. courts.
44


The government should explain the
reasons for the failure of its
Foreign Service

officials to properly assist

UK citizens

who

were
being tortured or

suffering ill treatment.


5.2

Belated acknowledgment that UK c
itizens may be suffering ill
treatment


5.2.1

Prime Minister admits UK citizens detained by the US have
alleged ill treatment


On
June

28
,

2004
, t
he US Supreme Court decided that US courts
possessed jurisdiction to consider challenges to the legality of
their
detention by foreign nationals captured overseas in connection with
hostilities and held at Guantanamo Bay.
Two days later, on June 30
,

2004,
UK Prime Minster Tony Blair told the House of Commons
Intelligence and Security Committee that some US
-
held
detainees
questioned by UK intelligence personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan or
Guantanamo Bay
had
c
omplained about their treatment.
45



5.2.2

Foreign Office acknowledges UK citizen in Guantanamo Bay
alleges ill treatment


On July 16
,

2004, a Foreign Office off
icial visited Martin Mubanga
a British detainee at Guantanamo Bay. Mr. Mubanga, a 3
1
-
year old
motor cycle courier who had been held for over two years without
charge or access to a lawyer, complained about two specific
incidents of mistreatment. He had mad
e coded reference to ill
treatment, using patois and cockney, in letters to his family. The
Foreign Office reported on August 26, 2004, that it had informed
Mr. Mubanga of his legal rights in the US courts and asked the US
to investigate the allegations of

abuse made by detainees already
released from Guantanamo.

That was the fi
r
st occasion that the




44

Supra. 37
.


45

Daily Telegraph, Michael Smith, Defence Corres pondent,

acces s ed from webs ite 1
st

July 2004.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Content/displayPrintable.jhtml;sessionid=U0ZNZNC0X

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

22

Foreign Office admitted that a British detainee in Guantanamo had
alleged ill treatment.
46


The government should explain the delay in acknowledging
allegations
that UK

citizens were being tortured or

suffering ill
treatment.


5.3

Details of allegations of ill treatment


Rhuhel Ahmed, Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal suffered from pains in
their knees and lower back, which they believe were exacerbated by
the condi
tions in which they were kept during their plane journey
from Afghanistan to Cuba and the

forced positioning

, which
included squatting and short shackling. Shafiq Rasul
also had cuts to
his ankles and wrists from the tightness of cuffs. Rhuhel Ahmed
suff
ered irreversible damage to his eyes as a result of the lack of
medical attention to a pre
-
existing eye condition, which was
controllable through a gas permeable contact lens.


The
government should explain
why
representatives of the
Foreign Office appear
ed to be so ineffective in responding to
complaints, particularly about health

problems
, on those
occasions when they visited
Ahmed, Rasul and Iqbal
in
Guantanamo.
This appears to be inconsistent with the
Convention’s

preamble.



6.

Extradition to a State
where there are subs
tantial grounds
for believing a person

would be in danger of being tortured


6.1


UK
-
US Extradition Treaty


On
March

31,

2003, David Blunkett, UK Home Secretary,
signed a new bilateral Extradition Treaty with his United States
counterpa
rt, Attorney General
John

Ashcroft replacing the 1972
UK
-
US Treaty.






46

Foreign Office admits Guantanamo

Briton has alleged ill treatment, Vikram Dodd, Friday Augus t 27,
2004, The Guardian.

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

23

New extradition procedures were introduced under Article 8 of
the Treaty, the most controversial of which were contained in
subsection (3). According to the new terms, the requirement
for evidence of a
prima facie

case in requests by the US was
removed yet the pre
-
condition that the UK had to satisfy the
‘probable cause’ requirement when seeking extradition from the
US was retained.


On
December

16,

2003 secondary legislation [Extradi
tion Act
2003 (Designation of Part 2 Territories) Order 2003] required to
bring the Extradition Act 2003 into force was introduced by the
UK Government. By the terms of the Order, the UK
-
US
Extradition Trea
ty was to enter into force on
January
1,
2004.


U
nder paragraph 2 of the Order, the US was designated as a
territory for the purposes of Part 2 of the Act. Under paragraph
3 it was not required to provide prima facie evidence to support
a request for extradition.


All except four of the states listed un
der paragraph 3 are party
to the European Convention on Extradition. The Convention
itself was the product of the Council of Europe and all members
are subject to the European Convention on Human Rights. Of
the four non
-
member states, three are Commonwea
lth countries


Australia, Canada and New Zealand.


6.2


Extradition to face the Death Penalty or Death Row


In contrast to the US, all Council of Europe member states have
either abolished the death penalty in accordance with Protocol 6
to the ECHR or hav
e demonstrated their commitment to do so
by suspending the application of the death penalty.
Furthermore, in July 2003, Protocol 13 abolishing the death
penalty in times of war came into effect among member states.


Nevertheless, Article 7 of the UK
-
US
treaty which covers the
death penalty provides:


"the executive authority in the Requested State may refuse
extradition unless the Requesting State provides an assurance
© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

24

that the death penalty will not be imposed or, if imposed, will
not be carried out".


The wording “may refuse” has been criticised in a briefing by
Statewatch

(July 2003) on the grounds that it “fails to meet the
member states’ obligations under Protocols 6 and 13 to the
European Convention on Human Rights or respect the case law
of the o
f the European Court which has upheld an absolute bar
to extradition where the death penalty may be imposed”.
47

The
briefing concluded, “[i]t is hard to see why the treaty could not
state unequivocally that the UK will not extradite in death
penalty cases.”

This criticism was also echoed by
JUSTICE

in
its briefing of
July

3,

2003.
JUSTICE

also concluded, “it is
difficult to understand why the provision does not impose an
absolute bar to extradition where the death penalty may be
imposed in accordance with

Protocol 6 of the ECHR and the
European Court of Human Rights judgment in
Soering v United
Kingdom
.”
48



The
JUSTICE

briefing also refers to the judgment of the
International Court of Justice (
ICJ
)

in the
LaGrand Case

(Germany v USA
), Judgment of

June
27,
2001. The case
concerned the execution of a German national in 1999 by the
State of Arizona in breach of an ICJ order for provisional
measures to suspend the execution pending a judgment in
relation to a breach of international obligations. The US
Solici
tor
-
General in that case stated, “an order of the
International Court of Justice indicating provisional measures is
not binding and does not furnish a basis for judicial relief.”
JUSTICE

concluded, “any breach of international obligations or
human rights
which might occur following extradition to the
United States would not be effectively judicially reviewable.”


6.3

Extradition without a prima facie evidence
requirement





47

Statewatch analys is no. 17: The new UK
-
US Extradition Treaty, by Ben Hayes (July 2003).


48

JUSTICE, briefing on Extradition to the US: The UK
-
US Treaty of March 2003 a
nd the EU
-
US
Agreement of June 2003. (July 2003).

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

25


As pointed out by a number of NGOs including
JUSTICE

and
Statewatch
, the failed attem
pt in 2003 by the US to extradite
Lotfi Raissi from the UK “raises doubts about the wisdom of
removing the evidence requirement in the new treaty”. The
Al
gerian pilot was arrested on
September

21,

2001 on ‘holding
charges’ in a request to extradite him to
the US that alleged he
had trained the 11 September hijackers. At his first appearance
in Bow Street Magistrates Court, US authorities said they had
video evidence and telephone evidence connecting him to one
of the hijackers and that he would likely face

charges of
conspiracy to murder and, potentially, the death penalty. Over
a series of court appearances, the FBI's ‘evidence’ diminished.
The video evidence, for example, turned out to be a webcam
shot of Lofti not with a hijacker, but his
cousin. Finall
y, on

February

12,

2002, after spending almost five months locked up
for more than 23 hours a day in Belmarsh high
-
security prison,
Mr Raissi was freed on conditional bail on the grounds that the
US did not have enough evidence to bring a prosecution.
49



U
nder the new Treaty, Raissi could in theory be the subject of a
new request for which no evidence would be required since the
UK
-
US agreement is retrospective (Article 22(1)).


6.4


Extradition to Guantanamo Bay


An additional point of some concern in t
he new Treaty is the
r
ule on specialty provided in Article 18. The principle of
specialty means that a person should not be tried, following
extradition, for an offence committed prior to extradition other
than that for which he was extradited. Although
there has
always been the possibility for the requested state to consent to
prosecution for other extraditable offences after extradition, the
new UK
-
US treaty allows the Home Secretary to waive
speciality and consent to “detention, trial or punishment”
(r
ather than simply prosecution) for any offence, not just an
extraditable offence (Article 18(1)(c)). As
JUSTICE

point out,




49

For an interview
-
bas ed account, s ee Freed, by Audrey Gillan, The Guardian, February 15, 2002.


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

26

this allows for the possibility that the Home Secretary could
consent to indefinite detention of a person in Guantanamo Bay
for an of
fence other than which they were initially extradited.


In its July 2003 briefing,
Statewatch

comments: “[t]he situation
in Guantanamo raises doubts as to the compatibility of any
reduction in safeguards for extradition to the US with the UK's
obligations

under the Human Rights Act and the E
uropean
C
onvention on
H
uman
R
ights
. Moreover, discretion in the
application of the speciality rule in the new UK
-
US Treaty
"appears to allow for the possibility of the Secretary of State
consenting to indefinite detenti
on in Guantanamo Bay for an
offence other than that which a person was extradited for once
that person has been returned to the US"
50


Serious concern over the new terms of the Treaty is
compounded by the
absence of

due process for the detainees at
Guantana
mo together with the mounting evidence of t
orture
inflicted on the detainee
s
, discussed elsewhere in this report
.
51



The Government should review the UK
-
US Extradition Treaty
to ensure that the UK is in compliance with Article 3 of the
Convention.


7.


R
ole in interrogating detainees overseas


PHR
-
UK is concerned at the alleged involvement of members of the
British armed forces in systematic abuse in Iraq.


7
.
1

Abu
Ghraib


According to the Ministry of Defence
,

senior British offices worked
closel
y w
ith US commanders at Abu Ghraib

where systematic abuses
took place.
According to UK armed forces minister Adam Ingram
MP, two intelligence officers, Colonel Chris Terrington a
nd Colonel
Campbell James were e
mbedded with the US intelligence unit



50

Supra. 47.


51

See als o interviews with three Britis h detainees releas ed from Guantanamo, The Obs erver, Mar
ch 14,
2004.

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

27

responsi
ble for obtaining information from Iraqi prisoners. Col.
Terrington is said to have joined the intelligence chain of command at
Abu Ghraib in November 2003, a time when serious abuses were
occurring. It has been alleged that he was second in command of
int
elligence at the prison and was told about abuses there.
52



This gives rise to the question what did UK officials and members
of the armed services know about cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment and
,

what did they do about it?


7
.
2

I
nt
errogation of hooded detainee in Iraq


UK Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House
of Commons
Intelligence and Security C
ommittee, on June 30, 2004, that all but
one of the interviews carried out in Iraq in the presence of UK
intelligence officials accorde
d with the Geneva Convention. In June
2003, two British personnel interviewed an Iraqi held by the US. The
detainee was brought in hooded and shackled and remained so during
the one
-
hour interview. Mr. Blair said that the British personnel
understood that
these methods were for security purposes, and did not
report them at the time since they were not then aware that hooding
was unacceptable.
53


It would be helpful to know what UK intelligence officials believed
was acceptable and how it came about that they

seemed to think
that neither the Geneva Convention nor the Convention against
Torture applied to that particular interview.


7
.
3

Medical supervision of torture

and follow
-
up

by the General
Medical Council.


Following the publication of photographs de
picting abuses by
members of the coalition forces in Iraqi places of d
etention, a letter
appeared in a national UK newspaper T
he Independent of May 12,
2004. Purporting to come from a former British Army specia
l forces




52

UK officers linked to torture jail, Richard Norton
-
Taylor, The Guardian, September 16, 2004.


53

Daily Telegraph, Michael Smith, Defence Corres pondent, acces s ed from webs ite 1
st

July 2004.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Content/displayPrintable.jhtml;sessionid=U0ZNZNC0X

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

28

officer called

Hugh McManners, the le
tter sought to distinguish
between what the letter describes as “the shocking behaviour of US
army military p
olice at Abu Ghraib prison” and

“what legitimately
happens to a small group of selected captives in a military
interrogation centre
.” The letter

wr
ite
r describes the use of isolation,
tiredness and disorientation techniques between interrogation sessions
including “being hooded, blanked off from the rest of the world by
white noise, and then ‘stressed’ by being ma
de to spread
-
eagle against
the
wall,
followed by sitting cross
-
legged on the floor with hands on
head
.” The writer goes on to assert that “British military regulations
governing this sort of treatment are very tight ….. with close medical
supervision to ensure blood circulation is healthy.”
54



On the day that the letter was published, a Birmingham
-
based doctor
wrote to the
UK’s
General Medical Council (GMC)

which
is the
independent UK regulatory body that licenses doctors to practice
medicine, and has a role in medical education and monitoring

doctors


performance
. He

enquire
d

whether the alleged medical supervision
was provided by GMC reg
istered doctors, and if so whether

the GMC
could
investigate the duties of these doctors, since assisting torturers
did not appear to be compatible with maint
aining registration with the
GMC.
On August 16, in response to reminders, the GMC indicated
that it had

raised this concern with the Surgeon General of the
Ministry of Defe
nce. T
he GMC has
,

at the time of writing, not

provide
d

a
ny further

response.
55


The m
ethods described as legitimate in the letter to The Independent
closely resemble

those which the UK government undertook not to
employ at the time when the European Commission on Human Rights
was considering the conduct of UK forces in Northern Ireland.
56

T
he
Committee

against Torture has affirmed that
the use of
such methods




54

Hugh McManners, The truth about torture and i
nterrogation, The Independent, M
ay 12, 2004.


55

Corres pondence on file with P
HR
-
UK.


56

European Court of Human Rights judgment of April 25 1978 regarding the five practices of interrogation
employed by the UK in Northern Ireland in
Ireland v UK 1978

[Publ’s of E.Ct.H.R. Series A, vol. 25, 1978
pp. 67
-
67]. That judgement had reverse
d a European Commission on Human Rights finding on the grounds
that the methods were not of sufficient intensity and cruelty to amount to torture.

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

29

amount to a
violation

of
Article 2

in its consideration of the reports of
States Parties under Article 19.
57



The Committee against Torture
needs to

satisfy itself that any
official reg
ulations governing interrogation, whether
by

military
forces
or others acting in an official capacity in any territory
under
the UK’s

jurisdiction,

comply with the Convention, and
that such personnel, including health professionals, are fully
aware of thes
e regulations.


The G
eneral
M
edical
C
ouncil

should interview UK doctors who
served with military forces in Iraq and satisfy itself
that
there is
no medical complicity with torture or ill treatment and that
doctors are adequately trained in their responsibi
lities with
regard to the Convention and the Geneva Conventions.



7
.
4

Accountability for abuses by the UK military in Iraq


PHR
-
UK is extremely concerned by reports that British soldiers
mistreat
ed Iraqi detainees by beating and kicking them and po
uring
freezing water on their heads. According to Reuters, an Iraqi witness
told the High Court in London that at a military base in Basra, soldiers
beat hooded detainees on the neck, chest and genitals and kick
-
boxed
them apparently to try make them crash

into a wall.
58

The Guardian
reported that a 17
-
year
-
old Iraqi, Ahmed Jabbar Kareem was allegedly
beaten and ordered to swim across the Zubair river, but his injuries
from the assault were too severe and he drowned. The same report
said that four British so
ldiers were to be court marshaled for allegedly
abusing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners, including forcing them to
commit sexual acts on each other.
59






57

It concluded that the us e of s uch methods cons titute torture, even when not us ed in combination, as
appare
ntly they us ually were. In s aying this, the Committee did not abandon the s everity tes t us ed by the
European Court of Human Rights over twenty years earlier. Ins tead, it provided a clear s tatement on how
certain methods of interrogation met that test, “eve
n when not used in combination”. The Committee
recommended that such interrogation methods cease immediately. [CAT/C/X/XVIII/CRP.1/Add.4].


58

Andrew Cawthorne, Laughing UK troops torture Iraqis, Reuters, July 28, 2004, London.


59

Vikram Dodd, Soldiers arre
s ted after Iraqi beaten and drowned, The Guardian, Augus t 26, 2004.

© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

30

It is difficult to reconcile such acts with the Convention. These were
collective acts, not those of

a si
ngle rogue soldier. PHR
-
UK

wonder
s

what culture prevailed

with
in

both the region of war and the

theatre

of
war
, what regulations applied, how the chain of command functioned
and how these related to the UK’s obligations under Article 16.


The government sh
ould set up an inquiry into the allegations of
torture or ill treatment
of detainees
by UK military forces and
publish the report.


8.

T
raining of
professionals

who encounter detainees


PHR
-
UK is concerned about the UK’s compliance with Articles 16
an
d 10. Evidence suggests that the provision of education and
information to those involved with detainees on the prohibition of
torture as well as acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment which do not amount to torture
is

in need of revie
w.


8.1


Diplomats


PHR
-
UK is aware of that human rights plays a part in UK foreign
policy. Given this, we have difficulty in understanding, in light of the
accounts of interviews with UK diplomats provided by UK citizens
released from Guantanamo Bay de
scribed above (Section 6), why it
took until August of 2004 for the Foreign Office to report allegations
of mistreatment.

We wonder whether the training of diplomats in the
recording and reporting of human rights violations is adequate.



8
.
2

Interrog
ators


In Sections 7.1 and 7.2 above, PHR
-
UK has described accounts of UK
personnel who were involved in the interrogation process in Iraq. At
least one such interrogation was conducted of a d
etainee while he or
she was hooded. If the interrogators did not

realize that this was a
violation, then we wonder what training such personnel receive in
human rights law and international humanitarian law, and whether it
is sufficient.


8
.
3

Custodians


© Physicians for Human Rights


UK 2004

31

PHR
-
UK has been disturbed to learn of alleged abuses of deta
inees in
Iraq by members of the British military forces.
We are bound to ask to
what extent such conduct, if proven, reflects on the level of training
provided for those who might very reasonably expect to be
responsible for prisoners at certain stages of
their military activities.


8.4

Health professionals


Health professionals are frequently a detainee’s best hope of
protection from torture. They are bound by ethical codes, professional
regulations and law.
60

If a health professional remains silent or
is
complicit in torture,
then the victim’s sense of security is undermined
even further.



There have been numerous allegations of abuses in Iraq. At the time
of writing, there has been no suggestion that any health professionals
from the UK were involved.

The cla
im, we reported above (Section

7.3), asserted that British military regulations governing interrogation
provide for medical supervision.
PHR
-
UK asks though, did
health
professionals

see no
thing, did they suspect nothing? I
f they did, w
ere
health pr
ofessionals taught to report their observations or did they lack
the training to evaluate any perceived problems of dual loyalty in
human rights terms?



The Government should review th
e
training of those who might
reasonably be expected to encounter detai
nees

in the course of
their duties, and ensure that it prepares them to fulfill their tasks
in a manner consistent with the UK’s obligations under the
Convention.


*****





60

See, for example, (1) The World Medical As s ociation Declaration of Tokyo: Guidelines for Medical
Doctors Concerning Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punis hment

in Relation
to Detention and Impris onment, adopted by the 29
th

World Medical Assembly, Tokyo, Japan, October
1975, and (2) The International Council of Nurses, The Nurse’s Role in the Care of Prisoners and
Detainees, adopted 1998.