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UK court denies extradition appeal of three Tunisians

[JURIST] Judges at London's High Court Monday rejected an appeal against the extradition of three Tunisian men arrested on terrorism charges who argued that their removal to Italy could ultimately lead to their torture. The three were arrested late last year in England after an Italian judge issued an European arrest warrants (EAWs) [EU backgrounder] for them. In May, a UK judge ordered their extradition [Reuters report]. Reiterating their earlier High Court claims before Monday's appeal ruling, the men argued that under Italy's Pisanu Law [text, in Italian], they could be extradited to Tunisia, where they could face torture. The High Court judges acknowledged that Italy's past use of the Law was "disturbing," but said that under a 2002 EU Council Framework Decision on EAWs [text], the country must ensure the men's Article 3 protections against torture of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text]. The men have all denied the charges, and they have 14 days to appeal the decision to the House of Lords. The Press Association has more. AFP has additional coverage.

Last month, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] released a report [text; press release] accusing Tunisia of committing widespread human rights abuses under broad anti-terrorism legislation. AI also criticized the US, as well as European and other Arab countries, for turning over terror suspects to Tunisian authorities [JURIST report] despite allegations of torture and other abuses. In February, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the deportation [text] of a former Tunisian terrorism suspect, finding he would likely be subjected to torture [JURIST report] in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights if returned to Tunisia. In September 2007, Human Rights Watch released a report [text; press release] accusing Tunisian officials of mistreating two former Guantanamo detainees [JURIST report] after they were returned to the country.

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