Belfast Telegraph

Reopen Northern Ireland Hooded Men torture probe, says Amnesty International

By Brian Hutton

Amnesty International has demanded the reopening of a landmark case against Britain over the alleged use of torture here during the Troubles.

The Republic of Ireland took the case of the so-called Hooded Men to the European Court of Human Rights in 1971.

The 14 Catholic men claimed that while interned they were tortured using hooding, stress positions, sleep deprivation, white noise, deprivation of food and water, beatings and death threats.

An RTE documentary in June revealed fresh evidence the Government had authorised "deep interrogation". It included a letter in 1977 from then Home Secretary Merlyn Rees to then Prime Minister James Callaghan, in which he writes that the decision to use "torture in Northern Ireland in 1971/72 was taken by ministers".

Amnesty said this shows the UK Government withheld crucial evidence from the European Court at the original hearing and senior ministers sanctioned torture, which they had denied. Under European rules, the case can be reopened within six months of new evidence emerging.

Belfast Telegraph


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