London, December 3 (RHC)-- The Irish government is to ask the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to reopen an alleged British army torture case in Northern Ireland. Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said on Tuesday that the decision to reopen the so-called "Hooded Men" case was made in accordance with thousands of freshly released documents.
Flanagan said: "On the basis of the new material uncovered, it will be contended that the ill-treatment suffered by the hooded men should be recognized as torture." The Irish foreign minister added that the 14 Irish men were detained by British forces in 1971 during The Troubles in Northern Ireland and taken to a secret location, which was later confirmed to be a British army base, where they were subjected to abuse and torture.
They were hooded and thrown out of helicopters after being told they were hundreds of feet in the air, when they were in fact only a few feet above the ground. None of the 14 men were ever convicted of a crime.
In 1978, the ECHR ruled that the group’s treatment was inhumane and degrading but was not torture. The newly released information came to light during a television documentary shown by Irish broadcaster, RTÉ, which had obtained the documents from a UK public records office in London.