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UK high court hears case of Pakistan detainee

The Supreme Court of the UK [official website] on Monday began its two-day hearing in the case of a 29-year-old individual detained by US officials at an Afghan prison. Yunus Rahmatullah, a citizen of Pakistan, was arrested by British forces in 2004 and subsequently transferred to US officials who held him at Parwan prison without charges or trial for several years. The UK Court of Appeal [official website] had granted a writ of habeas corpus to Rahmatullah in 2011, reasoning that Rahmatullah's detention was unlawful. It also held that, because he was captured by British forces, the UK judicial system has jurisdiction over his case. However US officials have failed to comply with the ruling despite acknowledging that Rahmatullah was not a security threat.

A similar situation took place in May, when an Afghan detainee who was handed over to authorities in Afghanistan by UK forces won permission [JURIST report] to challenge the legality of his transfer. He argued that he had been tortured by Afghanistan officials until he confessed that he was a member of the Taliban. The Open Society Institute of New York and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission [advocacy websites] alleged in March that US detainees were sent to a National Directorate of Security (NDS) facility in Kandahar, which was condemned [JURIST reports] by the UN in October for "systematically tortur[ing]" prisoners during interrogations. Afghan officials denied the torture allegations [JURIST report], claiming that there was no basis for the UN's findings.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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