Govt Urged To Reopen 'Hooded Men' Case

The government has been urged to reverse the decision of its Attorney General and appeal to the European Court of Human Rights for the reopening of the 1970s 'Hooded Men' case, which alleges torture by the British government.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams made the call saying he was disappointed that, following representation from lawyers acting for the Hooded Men, the Attorney General Maire Whelan refused to reopen the case.

Teachta Adams said: "In August 1971, 340 men were arrested and interned. 14 of these were subject to in depth interrogation techniques which had been planned from earlier in the year and involved specially trained British interrogators and RUC Special Branch officers.

"Over a number of days the 'Hooded Men' were subject to white noise; sleep deprivation; hooding; being forced to stand spread eagled against a wall; and were deprived of food and water. They were also beaten and terrorised.

"In 1977 the European Commission on Human Rights concluded that this was torture. The following year the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it wasn't torture but inhuman and degrading treatment.

"Following intensive research by the Pat Finucane Centre and further research by the RTE team behind the documentary, new evidence has emerged which reveals that the British government lied to the European Court of Human Rights both on the severity of the methods used on the men; their long term physical and psychological consequences; on where these interrogations took place and who gave the political authority and clearance for it to occur.

"Not only was the European Court misled and lied to by the British government but so too was the Irish government. The onus is now on the Irish government to challenge the British government on these matters and to request that the European Court of Human Rights reopen the case of Ireland v the United Kingdom."


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