AI Report: European countries must reject unreliable ‘diplomatic assurances’

In a new report released on 12 April, Amnesty International has called European countries to reject the practice of diplomatic assurances from governments with proven records of torture.

The report, Dangerous Deals: Europe’s Reliance on ‘Diplomatic Assurances’ against Torture, focuses on the use of diplomatic assurances by a number of European governments (including including Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) to justify deporting, extraditing, or otherwise forcibly removing foreigners deemed “threats to national security.” By securing assurances that these individuals will be treated humanely, governments claim that such transfers are “human rights friendly”.

The report challenges that claim by providing research and analysis on how diplomatic assurances threaten the global ban on torture or other ill-treatment and how inherent deficiencies in the practice have led to some people being tortured and ill-treated. 

The report highlights how the use of diplomatic assurances against torture has increased considerably following the 11 Sept. attacks and some states have developed specific laws or policies that enshrine the practice.


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