Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams calls on Irish government to appeal hooded men judgement

Former Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has called on the Irish Government to appeal the decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the 'hooded men' case.

Mr Adams said that their treatment by the British state in August 1971 amounted to torture.

The so-called Hooded Men were 14 Catholics interned – detained indefinitely without trial – in 1971 who said they were subjected to a number of torture methods.

These included five techniques – hooding, stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and water – along with beatings and death threats.

The ECHR said there was “no justification” to revise a 1978 ruling which found the treatment of the men was inhumane and degrading.

The court said new evidence had not demonstrated the existence of facts that were not known to the court at the time or which could have had a decisive influence on the original judgment.

“The decision of the ECHR is disappointing. It is based on a legal interpretation of the arguments and evidence presented in the original case in 1970s," Louth TD Adams said.

“It fails to take account of the torture inflicted on the hooded men by British Army and RUC interrogators at that time and its long-term consequences for the physical and mental health of the men involved.

“Of equal concern is that the decision by the Court will encourage those states which have since relied on the 1978 judgement to defend their interrogation tactics.

"The court’s decision is bad in law and bad in practice. It will undermine the protection of human rights across the world. The Irish government should accept the dissenting opinion from the Irish representative on the panel and appeal the case”.

Mr Adams said it was important to remember the original judgement in the case.

“Some have tried to clear Britain of any wrong doing in 1971 as a result of the ECHR’s decision.

“It is important to remember that the court’s decision does not affect the court’s original 1978 ruling that the men suffered inhuman and degrading treatment, in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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