UK forces' detention policy in Afghanistan unlawful

The detention policy adopted by UK forces in Afghanistan has been ruled unlawful by the High Court.

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Law firm: MoD operated flagrantly outside detention laws

The Ministry of Defence operated "flagrantly" outside the laws on detention, a spokesman from lawyers Leigh Day said.

The law firm, who represent Afghan farmer Serdar Mohammed in his damages claim for assault, false imprisonment and human rights breaches against the Government, made the comment after the High Court ruled UK forces' detention policy in Afghanistan was unlawful.

When we send our troops abroad it is the Ministry of Defence's job to ensure that the mechanisms are put in place to ensure that they operate within the rule of law.

As the court has made clear, the MoD fully understood the parameters of the law regarding detention and yet they decided to operate flagrantly outside those rules.

– A spokesman from lawyers Leigh Day, who represent Serdar Mohammed

Govt to appeal High Court detention policy ruling

The Government will appeal the High Court's ruling that the detention policy adopted by UK forces in Afghanistan was unlawful, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said.

I am disappointed by the court’s decision. We cannot send our Armed Forces into battle with both hands tied behind their backs.

Our troops engaged in operations must be able to detain our enemies who aim to maim and kill UK service personnel and innocent civilians.

The Government will appeal the judgment. It cannot be right for the ECHR to apply on the battlefield, restricting the ability of our troops to operate in combat.

If we do not succeed on appeal, we will examine other options open to us. We will not allow our combat effectiveness to be constrained by this judgment.

– Defence Secretary Philip Hammond

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UK forces' detention policy in Afghanistan unlawful

The detention policy adopted by UK forces in Afghanistan has been ruled unlawful by the High Court.

A British Army sniper and his spotter at work in Afghanistan. Credit: Reuters\Steve Lewis

The issue was part of Afghan farmer Serdar Mohammed's damages claim for assault, false imprisonment and human rights breaches.

Mohammed, from the Kajaki district of Helmand province, was captured in April 2010 on suspicion of being a Taliban commander.

He claims he was tortured into giving a false confession after being transferred to the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) facility at Lashkar Gah. His allegations of ill-treatment at the hands of UK forces are strongly disputed by the Government.

Mr Justice Leggatt said today that Mohammed's arrest on April 7 and initial detention for four days was lawful but his continued detention on UK military bases for a further 106 days was unlawful under the law of Afghanistan, international law and English law.

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