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    Libyan Dissidents Demand UK Government Disclose Interception Policies: Reports

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    A lawsuit filed with the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) by two Libyan dissidents is demanding that the British government publish interception policies in force, The Guardian reported Friday.

    MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - A lawsuit filed with the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) by two Libyan dissidents is demanding that the British government publish interception policies in force, The Guardian reported Friday.

    "We don't understand why it's being said that disclosure of policy will cause harm to national security. None of this information ought to be secret. Procedures for ensuring that privileged material is properly protected ought to be open to public scrutiny," the court representative of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi, two Libyan victims of rendition, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

    The claim, according to the newspaper, states that UK intelligence agencies, including the Security Service (MI5), the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), intercepted the dissidents' communications with lawyers, thus depriving them of the right to fair trial.

    Belhaj and al-Saadi led the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group against the Gaddafi regime, the newspaper stated.

    According to the Reprieve human rights group that has been supporting and closely following the case Belhaj, al-Saadi and their families were abducted in Southeast Asia in 2004 and sent by British and US Intelligence agencies to Libya to face punishment and torture.

    It happened at a time when the relations between Libya, Britain and the United States were particularly cordial due to Gaddafi giving up his nuclear weapons programs, according to The Guardian.

    "There is a strong likelihood that the respondents have intercepted and are intercepting the applicants" legally privileged communications in respect of the [cases]," the newspaper quoted the dissidents' claim as stating.

    Reprieve in turn denounced the UK government's refusal to make national surveillance procedures public.

    "If the spies kidnap you and send you to a torture chamber, and you then sue them for that kidnap, it is all right for them to spy on your calls with your lawyers in order to defend themselves against the torture claim? The government is so desperate to avoid admitting it has done this that it is telling the IPT it has no power to order the government to reveal its policies in this area. But a 'tribunal' that cannot order the production of evidence is not really a court at all. We look forward to today's hearing," Reprieve's Abuses in Counter-Terrorism team and counsel to the families Director Cori Crider said in a statement published on the organization's website Thursday.

    The dissidents and their families, comprising eight people in total, now seek remuneration for the abduction and torture experienced.

    Tags:
    intelligence, lawsuit, Libya
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