OMCT and REDRESS submit joint amicus brief to European Court of Human Rights regarding compensation suit against former Tunisian Interior Minister

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the REDRESS Trust submitted an amicus curiae brief to the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Abdennacer Naït-Liman against Switzerland. The case concerns a civil remedy for compensation against the former Interior Minister of Tunisia brought by a resident of Switzerland.

In April 1992, while living in Italy, Mr Naït-Liman was arrested and handed over to the Tunisian authorities. Over a period of 40 days he was arbitrarily detained and subjected to torture in the Ministry of Interior building in Tunis. He later fled to Switzerland where he was granted refugee status in 1995.

In 2001 Mr Naït-Liman learned that Tunisia’s former Minister of theInterior, who he alleged was responsible for the torture, was hospitalised in Geneva. Mr Naït-Liman filed a criminal complaint against the former minister, but he was not apprehended before he left Swiss territory. Mr Naït-Liman later brought a civil claim for damages in Switzerland against the former minister and the State of Tunisia, however the Swiss Federal Court (on appeal) found that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the claim.

Following the refusal of the Swiss courts to examine his claim, Mr Naït-Liman filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights alleging that Switzerland had violated his right of access to a court under Article 6 of the European Convention. REDRESS and the World Organisation Against Torture were granted leave to intervene in the proceedings. The organisations submitted written comments to theCourt addressing States’ obligations to provide an applicant with access to a court for allegations of torture committed abroad where there is no other reasonable means of redress and the question of immunity of a former official.

Read the Amicus Curiae Brief : Naït-Liman Amicus Curiae Brief

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