04.08.2008

Press release issued by the Registrar

European Court of Human Rights grants
request for interim measures by Mustafa Kamal Mustafa (Abu Hamza)

On 1 August 2008, Mustafa Kamal Mustafa (Abu Hamza) lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights (application no. 36742/08). He complains principally under Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European Convention of Human Rights that if extradited he would be exposed to treatment in breach of that provision because he risks a life sentence without parole and, particularly in view of his health problems, as a result of the fact that he might be detained in a so-called “supermax” detention facility.

The Government of the United States have sought his extradition to stand trial on charges relating to hostage-taking in Yemen in 1998-1999, conspiracy to create a terrorist training camp in Oregon between October 1999 and April 2000 and assistance to acts of terrorism in Afghanistan in 1999-2001.

Mr Mustafa sought interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court to prevent his extradition to the United States of America while the Court considered his application. On 4 August 2008, the Acting President of the Chamber to which the case has been allocated decided, in the interests of the parties and the proper conduct of the proceedings before the Court, to indicate to the Government of the United Kingdom, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, that the applicant should not be extradited to the United States until the Court has given due consideration to the matter.

Under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court the Court may indicate to the parties any interim measure which it considers should be adopted in the interests of the parties or of the proper conduct of the proceedings before it.