Torture victims were wrongly imprisoned in UK, high court rules

Torture Hand In Prisonsource: The Guardian
published: 8 October 2017

Hundreds of victims of torture have been wrongly locked up in immigration detention centres, a high court judge has ruled, following a challenge by seven survivors of serious abuse.

Mr Justice Ouseley ruled that aspects of a Home Office policy introduced in September 2016 known as “Adults At Risk” wrongly allowed many who had been tortured overseas to be imprisoned.

The policy redefined torture to refer to violence carried out by official state agents only. As a result, those tortured by traffickers, terrorists or other non-government forces could be held in detention even if expert medical evidence found the scars on their bodies to be consistent with their accounts of torture.

Ouseley found that the narrowing of the definition of torture by the Home Office in its flagship policy lacked “rational or evidence base”.

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