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8 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I November 2008
UK court criticizes US refusal
to disclose torture evidence
Two High Court judges have criticized held in Guantanamo Bay, is
as “deeply disturbing” the refusal by the seeking evidence to be released by
US to disclose evidence that could prove both US and UK authorities as part
a British resident held at Guantanamo of his defence in charges brought
Bay was tortured before confessing to against him.
terrorism offenses. He reportedly was first held in
There was “no rational basis” for the Pakistan in 2002, when he was
American failure to reveal the contents questioned by an MI5 officer,
of documents essential to the defence of before he was secretly rendered
Binyam Mohamed, who faces the death to Morocco, where he says he was
penalty, Lord Justice Thomas and Justice tortured.
Lloyd Jones said. The US subsequently flew him
Claims by Mohamed’s lawyers that to Afghanistan and later transferred
the US was refusing to release the papers him to Guantanamo in 2004.
The US had not provided any
because “torturers do not readily hand According to the Guardian, the judges
explanation for its conduct, though it
over evidence of their conduct” could not said they were unaware of any precedent
had had “ample time” to do so, they said
be dismissed and required an answer, the for such serious allegations against “the
before suspending proceedings in London
judge said. government of a foreign friendly state and
Wednesday pending a case in the US
The 30-year-old Ethiopian national, our oldest and closest ally” as those made
courts, where defence lawyers are also
who is the only remaining British resident in this case.
trying to force disclosure.
New fingerprint scanners
add to UK surveillance
The devices are being designed to “Saving time with new technology
be able receive pictures of suspects could help police performance but officers
so officers on the ground can use the must make absolutely certain they take
images to help verify identities, the fingerprints only when they suspect an
Guardian newspaper reported. individual of an offense and can’t establish
In January, Security Minister Lord his identity,” said Liberty director Gareth
West revealed that Britain has a national Crossman, Crossman also cautioned that
fingerprint database of more than 7 the law on the use of scanners required
million, some 12 per cent of the total fingerprints taken in such circumstances
population. to be deleted after use and not added to
Fingerprints in Britain currently can the UK’s databases.
be taken by police for anyone arrested, Last year, a poll carried out by Liberty
including those who never charged with found that more than half of Britons
a recordable offense. believed the country had become a
The Guardian said the new ‘surveillance society” since the advent of
Every police force in the UK is to be
technology, which ultimately may be the so-called war on terrorism.
equipped with mobile fingerprint scanners,
able to receive pictures of suspects, is The human rights group catalogued the
increasing the surveillance of individuals in
likely to be in widespread use within 18 numerous ways in which ordinary Britons
what is already the world’s most monitored
months. have increasingly become “suspects”
The police claimed the scheme, called subject to intense surveillance.
The introduction comes after a trial
Project Midas, will transform the speed Amongst the findings, the UK was
of scanners used the new technology
of criminal investigations, civil liberty listed as the world leader in CCTV use
alongside automatic number plate
campaigners expressed concerned about with approximately 4.2 million cameras
recognition (ANPR) systems to check the
the scanners being used to increase and also has the biggest national DNA
identities of people in vehicles.
random checks of individuals. database with 3.9 m samples.
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