Amnesty joins calls for an investigation into Hooded Men case

Earlier this week the Irish government announced that it would ask the European Court to revise its previous judgement on men who said they were tortured during the Troubles. This follows on calls from parties such as Sinn Fein who had pressed the government to support the groups bid for another examination of their case.

This afternoon the group met with Former Commissioner for Human Rights for the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg at the Stormont hotel to raise their case. Hammarberg has history in Northern Ireland as he led a delegation from Amnesty International to Belfast 40 years ago to investigate allegations of torture.

Speaking about the Hooded Men case Hammarberg said;

Time does not heal all wounds, if justice is not done.

I was deeply disappointed when the European Court of Human Rights concluded that the ill-treatment of detainees in Northern Ireland under emergency powers in the early 1970s did not amount to torture. Similar methods have since then been used against suspects not least during the US led war on terror.

Now that an application has been made by Ireland to revisit the judgement, it should be in the interest of the UK government, as a signatory of the UN Convention against torture and the European Convention on Human Rights, to ensure that the facts be clarified in this critical case.

Hammarbergs calls were echoed by Amnesty Internationals NI Director, Patrick Corrigan, who stated;

The Irish government has done the right thing by referring this case back to the European court. The spotlight now falls on the UK and its obligation to deliver an independent and effective investigation into the allegations.


David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs