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Free EssaysLaw CategorySlow Britain's Responses to Human Rights AbusesBuy an essay
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This report investigates the use of excessive force in the pursuit of terrorists and information regarding their activities. A brief history of the events leading to the death of Pat Finucane and Baha Mousa is given. The discussion also focuses on various recommendations given after investigations into their death were concluded and reports published. Further, the report discusses the relationship between the recommendations from these reports and the steps by the British government to observe human rights in the fight against terrorism. The adoption of these recommendations is also investigated. It is concluded that restraint should be observed by the government departments in the process of ensuring the nation’s safety and by extension, that of the world. It is also suggested that recommendations of the discussed reports should be adopted to the letter.

Table of contents


1.0 Introduction

2.0 The death of Pat Funicane

3.0 The death of Baha Mousa

4.0 The Introduction of closed material procedures

5.0 Conclusions

6.0 Recommendations

 Reference list

1.0  Introduction

The purpose of this report is to investigate human rights abuses in British security procedures and to briefly discuss whether appropriate measures to safeguard against abuses of human rights are taken into account. By examining reports on the death of Pat Funicane and Baha Mousa and the recommendations made thereafter, this report discusses the responsibility of British officers and the government in the fight against terrorism. The enquiry reports have been found in various websites. The report will end with various conclusions that can be made and recommendations that can be appropriately suggested.

2.0 The death of Pat Funacine

Pat Funacine was murdered while he was having dinner with his family. He had earlier won prominent cases about human rights abuses by the British government. The 2012 Silva enquiry found out that there was complicity of both loyalist paramilitaries and British state officers (Executive Summary and Principal Conclusions). Ken Barrett, one of the loyalist paramilitary had been tried for murder in 2004. Recommendations of the Silva enquiry include: whistleblowers be given state protection, confidential contact lines should be installed, and clarity of who to report to should be ensured.

3.0 The death of Baha Mousa

On September 14 2003, Baha Mousa was arrested in a hotel in Basra in an operation in search of terrorist insurgents. The operation was led by Craig Rodgers. Several weapons such as grenades were found in the hotel. Baha Mousa at the time worked at the hotel. He was arrested alongside nine others were taken to a temporary detention facility where they were received by Donald Payne, a corporal. Some of the detainees were hooded with two or three hoods. They were forced to stay in stress positions and were also handcuffed.  Payne used a common method of assaulting detainees called the “choir.”  In this method, one punches and kicks detainees in a sequence. This causes them to emit a sign of distress. The Battlegroup Internment Review Officer, Major Michael Peebles, did not supervise Payne as required. Detainees were interrogated while being placed close to a noisy and hot generator. Later, Payne and Aaron Cooper were involved in a struggle where Mousa was kicked and punched. Due to his already deteriorated health, for example, he had 93 separate external injuries and several internal injuries, he succumbed to injuries. All detainees were being suspected in the murder of three Royal military policemen and also Captain Dai Jones. The techniques used in extracting information were banned by Geneva Conventions and other laws but the ban, it has been found, may have over the years been lost.

 Recommendations given in the chairman’s statement include designation of a detention officer who would be responsible for welfare of any detainees, introduction of video-recorded interrogations, review of interrogation training and tactical questioning in every three years and issuance of ministerial approval before any harsh treatment is administered (Baha Mousa inquiry makes 73 recommendations, 2011).

4.0  The Introduction of closed material procedures

One of the recommendations in the proposed Justice and Security Bill is introduction of closed material procedures in the judicial system. These measures would enable Britain protect her national security. The bill would allow judges to review evidence against a defendant without him/her knowing what the evidence is. Section six, for instance, argues that closed materials would be used if the court considers: that a party to the proceedings would be required to disclose material to any other party, the information is so sensitive that it threatens national security interests, that the degree of harm to national security interests outweighs fair administration of justice, and that a fair determination of justice is not possible by any other means (Justice and Security Bill).

5.0  Conclusions

The recommendations of the two reports above indicate that some laws regarding observance of human rights have been overlooked or ignored. The findings indicate that British soldiers have recognized methods of interrogation including the five techniques. Whistleblowers are seen as a threat to national security interests. The proposed bill takes some rights of a defendant. Conclusively, human rights have not been enforced properly, especially in the fight against terrorism. Instead, more rights that permit state dominance are emphasized.

6.0  Recommendations

Various recommendations by the two reports above should to be adopted There should be more detention officers whose main duty is to oversee the welfare of detainees. Review of questioning procedures should be done in every three years. The proposed bill should be revised to allow defendants know about any evidence through a confidential process or through legal representatives.

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