UN rules Spain violated international law

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Amnesty International


Spain has violated international law by extraditing a man facing torture, according to a UN ruling.

The ruling refers to the extradition of a Moroccan-Belgian man, Ali Aarrass, to Morocco in November 2010. Charged with terrorist offences, Aarrass appealed to the UN’s Human Rights Committee fearing that he would be tortured on arrival in Morocco.

According to the ruling reached by the UN’s Human Rights Committee, Spain broke the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by extraditing the terror suspect to Morocco when there was a possibility that Aarrass would face torture once there.

The Committee agreed that Spain had failed to carry out its obligations to adhere to Human Rights protocols stipulated in the ICCPR, despite being expressly told to halt extradition proceedings whilst Aarrass’ case was examined.

Aarrass argued that there was reliable evidence that if he was extradited he would be tortured, but the Spanish Courts denied his appeal and the man’s extradition was approved on November 19 2010.

Reports claim that once in Morocco, Aarrass was subjected to torture and abuse, before being sentenced to 12 years in prison based on a confession obtained under torture.

In light of the UN ruling, the Spanish government will have to pay an as-of-yet unspecified amount of compensation to Aarrass.

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