Court halts UK plans for US extradition of terrorist suspect

A terrorism suspect detained in the United Kingdom’s Broadmoor hospital should not be extradited to the United States, according to human rights judges.

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Aswat v. the United Kingdom (application no. 17299/12), which is not final, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously:

That there would be a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights if Haroon Aswat was extradited to the United States.

The court further decided to continue to indicate to the Government of the United Kingdom under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court (interim measures) not to extradite Aswat until the judgment became final or until further order.

The case concerned the complaint by Aswat, who is detained in the United Kingdom, that his extradition to the United States of America would amount to ill-treatment, in particular because the detention conditions (a potentially long period of pre-trial detention and his possible placement in a “supermax” prison) were likely to exacerbate his condition of paranoid schizophrenia.

The court held that Aswat’s extradition would amount to a violation of Article 3 solely on account of the current severity of his mental illness.

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