Boumediene and Others v Bosnia and Herzegovina

Forum: European Court of Human Rights
INTERIGHTS' role: Third party intervener

Keywords: Liberty and security, extraordinary rendition, cruel and inhuman treatment

In November 2007, INTERIGHTS and the International Commission of Jurists intervened as third parties in the case Boumediene and Others v Bosnia and Herzegovina before the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerned the unlawful handover by Bosnia and Herzegovina of six Algerians, some of who are Bosnian nationals, to the United States. Since their transfer in January 2002, the applicants have been detained in Guantanamo and subjected to ill-treatment and indefinite detention in very harsh conditions.

Their attempts to secure release from Guantanamo and return to their families in Bosnia and Herzegovina have repeatedly failed. Before the European Court the applicants complain that after rendering them into US custody in breach of the domestic courts orders prohibiting their forcible removal, Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to take any meaningful measures aimed at ensuring their release and thus failed to protect their rights under the Convention.

INTERIGHTS’ and the ICJ’s submitted written comments address developments in international law and practice in response to the increasingly trans-national nature of human rights violations involving multiple violations by several States, as epitomised by the practice of ‘extraordinary rendition’. The comments provide an overview of the positive obligations of states in circumstances where the wrongful act of a state has led to a continuing deprivation of human rights by another state, and discuss particular measures of protection (e.g. diplomatic measures), that are required in such circumstances.

This was the first case before the European Court challenging the practice of ‘extraordinary rendition’.

INTERIGHTS contact: Vesselina Vandova, Senior Lawyer, Security and Rule of Law Programme

Related links

Third party internvention to the European Court of Human Rights by INTERIGHTS and the ICJ

BBC News: Profile of Lakhdar Boumedienne