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ECtHR rejects Irish Government’s request

Case of Ireland v. The United Kingdom ECtHR 5310/71

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has rejected the Irish government’s request to find that the maltreatment of 14 detainees, by the British state during the Troubles, amounted to torture.

Dismissing the request by 6 votes to 1, the ECtHR said that the original judgment, which found that the treatment of the men was inhumane and degrading but not torture, should still stand. 

The so-called ‘Hooded Men’ were 14 Catholics detained indefinitely without trial in 1971.  The men were hooded and flown by helicopter to a secret location where they suffered sleep deprivation, deprivation of food and water and physical assaults. 

The legal team acting for the men, which includes solicitor Darragh Mackin, intend to appeal the judgment.  They said

‘Our clients have instructed us to take steps to support a referral of this case to the Grand Chamber of the European Union. It is hoped that this injustice can be corrected in that forum, for the sake of the integrity of the Court and survivors of torture all over the world.’

Commentary from Amnesty International can be read here.  The Irish Times’ article can be read here.

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