Both the country and the government were once again discussing the question of how far and to whom human rights should again when yesterday two terror suspects, Abid Naseer and Ahmad Faraz Khan, successfully appealed against deportation to Pakistan.
A special immigration court, chaired by Mr. Justice Mitting, and basing its judgment on to which the accused were denied access, said that while Mr. Nasser was an al-Qaeda operative, neither man should be deported.
But in both cases, Mr. Justice Mitting said it would be wrong to return the men to Pakistan because:
….there is a long and well-documented history of disappearances, illegal detention and of torture and ill-treatment to produce information, a confession or compliance.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty, got the nub of the dilemma we face, when she said: “It’s no surprise that on the day that this issue about deporting a terror suspect comes up that people start wobbling over the Human Rights Act.
“But here’s the thing – sending people to torture is not just unlawful, it’s wrong.
The belief that it is categorically wrong is one from which we cannot waver, no matter how tempting it may be to do so. There should be no excuse for it, not even the one that the people being sent have been found guilty -as nether of these men has – by a properly constitituted court of law.
The Democrat peer Lord Carlile has to be “sending out the wrong messages” when he said that “we do not want people who have been held to be terrorists walking our streets.” He should have said that we do not want people found guilty in the courts walking the streets.