UK Government’s secret interrogation center exposed in Co Derry

Derry’s secret inquiry center exposed

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 16:49:08 GMT

The UK government has kept secret for years the existence of an interrogation center in Ballykelly, Co Derry in the early 1970s during The Troubles, newly declassified documents show.

The Troubles, which is widely believed to have ended with the Belfast ‘Good Friday’ Agreement in 1998, is the name used for ethno-nationalist clashes that began in the 1960s in Northern Ireland and spilled over into England, the Republic of Ireland and sometimes into Europe.

The declassified files have been discovered by the Pat Finucane Center and they are indicative of the fact that the government has kept the location of the interrogation center as a top secret.

“It was very important to keep secure the existence and location of the center at Ballykelly where 12 detainees had been interrogated. It was not publicly known that this center existed as well as others which were known”, the Pat Finucane Center quoted a British lieutenant colonel as saying.

In 1971, the Irish government took the case of 12 internees who had been violently ill-treated to the European Commission of Human Rights (ECHR).

According to the declassified files the 12 who were detained as part of the internment of 350 people on 9 August 1971, were subject to deep interrogation under the five techniques system the ECHR has called ‘torture’. The techniques included starvation, wall-standing, sleep deprivation, hooding, and white noise.

The British army oversaw the interrogations which were carried out by the RUC.

Now, it has been revealed that the ECHR and two official inquiries were misled by London about the existence of the center.

Sarah Duddy of the Pat Finucane Center said the documents had uncovered the use of techniques such as hooding, sleep deprivation, diet restrictions, white noise and other methods on detainees at the Derry center.

“They (the files) reveal the existence of the center as well as the lengths that the British government went to keep the existence of the center concealed.

“One document says “it’s very important to keep the existence and location of the center where the 12 detainees were interrogated secret”, she said.

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