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extraordinary rendition


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A euphemism for the extrajudicial transfer of individuals from one state to another. The term arose in relation to the recent US practice of transferring suspected terrorists to countries known to torture prisoners or to employ harsh interrogation techniques that may rise to the level of torture – methods that would be illegal under US federal law. As well as violating the commonly accepted * jus cogens rule against torture in public international law, the practice also violates international treaty obligations, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights1950 (as brought into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988). The most explicit provision on extraordinary rendition can be found in Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which states that no state party “shall expel, return (`refouler') or extradite a person to another State where are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture”. In December 2005 the British police launched an investigation into persistent claims that the CIA used British airports to transport around 200 terrorist suspects for torture in secret camps abroad. The British government denied any knowledge of the use of British airports for such a purpose.

Subjects: Law.


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