“An error”, it can happen to everyone, even to the British justice. Amnesty International has experienced recently receiving an email from the President of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the court in charge of British intelligence. In his message of apology, it explained that in a recent judgment, the court had confused Amnesty with a non-governmental organization (NGO) Egyptian human rights
The court recognized, June 22, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ – literally the “Headquarters Government Communications”), the powerful intelligence agency Listens had bugged Amnesty International; a theoretically legal supervision, but in which several procedural rules have not been respected. Due to confusion in the nomenclature used to describe the complainants, it is the Egyptian organization that was originally presented as a victim.
Eric King, President of the NGO Privacy International, which scrap for years against GCHQ, said that this confusion was “grotesque”
“This clearly shows the problem with secret courts, where only one party may examine the evidence . Five experienced judges inspected secret evidence, probably without understanding them, and made a judgment that proved false. We need to understand why and how this was possible. “
Basically, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of the NGO reacted strongly, in a statement:
” It is outrageous that this has often been presented as the practical despotic leaders to take place on British territory, by its own government! How can we hope to achieve our vital work around the world if the correspondence we have with the defenders of human rights and victims of abuse may end up in the hands of the government? “
This is indeed on points of detail that the court found the illegal surveillance conducted by the GCHQ, and made at the same time said public surveillance. The judges ruled that the espionage of one of the largest NGOs defending human rights by great Western democracy was perfectly legal.