TheWorld Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the REDRESS Trustsubmitted an amicus curiae brief to the European Court of HumanRights in the case of Abdennacer Naït-Liman against Switzerland. Thecase concerns a civil remedy for compensation against the formerInterior Minister of Tunisia brought by a resident of Switzerland.
InApril 1992, while living in Italy, Mr Naït-Liman was arrested andhanded over to the Tunisian authorities. Over a period of 40 days he was arbitrarilydetained and subjected to torture in the Ministry of Interiorbuilding in Tunis. He later fled to Switzerland where he was grantedrefugee status in 1995.
In 2001 Mr Naït-Limanlearned that Tunisia’s former Minister of theInterior, who he alleged was responsible for the torture, washospitalised in Geneva. Mr Naït-Limanfiled a criminal complaint against the former minister, but he wasnot apprehended before he left Swiss territory. Mr Naït-Limanlater brought a civil claim for damages in Switzerland against theformer minister and the State of Tunisia, however the Swiss FederalCourt (on appeal) found that it did not have jurisdiction to hear theclaim.
Following the refusal of the Swisscourts to examine his claim, Mr Naït-Limanfiled an application with the European Court of Human Rights allegingthat Switzerland had violated his right of access to a court underArticle 6 of the European Convention. REDRESS and the WorldOrganisation Against Torture were granted leave to intervene in theproceedings. The organisations submitted written comments to theCourt addressing states’ obligations to provide an applicant withaccess to a court for allegations of torture committed abroad wherethere is no other reasonable means of redress and the question ofimmunity of a former official.
Read the Amicus Curiae Brief : Naït-Liman Amicus Curiae Brief