Amnesty Int'l Welcomes Decision to Let Libyan Exile Sue UK Intelligence

Amnesty International supports the UK's Appeal Court's decision to let a Libyan exile and his wife to sue the UK's Secret Intelligence Service for assisting the US Central Intelligence Agency in kidnapping them and transferring to Libya.

MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) — Amnesty International has welcomed the UK's Appeal Court's decision to allow a Libyan exile and his wife to sue the UK's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) for assisting the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to abduct them to Libya, a statement, published on the organization's website Thursday said.

"By permitting this case to go to trial, the Court has ruled that the UK government must answer allegations of serious human rights violations. Perpetrators of these acts must be held to account and the victims of these violations must have access to justice," Amnesty International Director for Europe and Central Asia programme John Dalhuisen said in the statement.

The watchdog stated that Abdul Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar were abducted in 2004 and illegally transferred to Libya to face detention, torture and ill-treatment by the US and Libyan governments. According to the organization, all this was done with the knowledge and cooperation of the UK government.

"This is a significant ruling and the right one. States must not be allowed to obscure their complicity in torture with appeals to legal doctrines, designed to preserve good relations between states. Today's judgment sets the stage for some real accountability in the UK, which has been far too long in coming," Dalhuisen added in the statement.

Earlier on Thursday, the UK Court of Appeal gave the go-ahead to the claim of Abdul Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar against the UK Secret Intelligence Service, despite attempts by the British government to hinder it.

Media reports suggested that Belhaj and his wife were forcefully taken to Libya on account of Belhaj co-leading the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was against the Gaddafi regime. Media reports also stated that all this happened at a time, when relations between Libya, Britain and the United States were particularly cordial due to Gaddafi giving up his nuclear weapons programs.

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