Sunday, July 29, 2018

British Justice Takes Second Place

 The Home Secretary Sajid Javid is to give precedence to the US in putting on trial two British citizens alleged to be Isis members, who belonged to the notorious “Beatles” group in Syria that specialised in torturing and beheading their captives. The British authorities are encouraging the Syrian Kurds holding El Shafee Elsheik and Alexanda Kotey to extradite them to the US rather than Britain. 

Javid’s actions is one of weakness and incapacity. First, he made the baffling and unexplained decision to drop the usual British condition that the UK would provide evidence and intelligence for a trial only if the death penalty was ruled out. Moreover, he not only abandoned the long-held British principle of opposing state executions but did so in secret, suggesting the government knew all too well the significance of its change of policy.

After 9/11 when US judicial credibility was damaged beyond repair in the eyes of the world by rendition, waterboarding, imprisonment without trial at Guantanamo and ritualised mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

An alternative solution would be to hand over the two accused men to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for committing war crimes but the objection to this being that the USA refuses to recognise the court.

1 comment:

Tim Hart said...

This report paints a rather rosy view of things. The title is wildly optimistic in suggesting that British justice takes second place. I’m afraid it’s a lot further down the pecking order than this. The notion that Sajid Javid’s decision is weak and baffling would only be justified if he could be attributed with any moral fibre or intelligence which is doubtful. The notion that US judicial credibility was damaged in the eyes of the world after the exposure of the rendition and torture programme is wildly optimistic. Did it have credibility before these events? 2.8 million and counting incarcerated in the biggest corporate prison complex in the world, 90% of whom have never been convicted of the offences that they are in prison for. Internationally the US record is as bad. It is not just the International Criminal Court that the US refuses to recognise. It has never recognised any international judicial body and never abides by any international judicial judgments that it doesn’t like.