This article is written in remembrance and in memorial to the white English working class human beings who were slaughtered at Peterloo 1819 and those that continue to be slaughtered at the hands of “state officials” for simply being white working class. Those that should have protected you, have betrayed you. Lawyers, Judges and the British state.
Written by Graham Moore, English Constitution Society
The definition of torture according to CJA 1988 section 134. Severe pain or suffering perpetrated by a state official with no lawful authority. It is for them to prove they had lawful authority. That is the law. The Severe pain or suffering’s motive can be intimidation, coercion, extra punishment, or plain thuggery. The definition is deliberately wide to give greater protection to the public from authoritarian abuse.
A Decades-Long Injustice in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, a political union known for its proud history of upholding the rule of law and safeguarding human rights, notwithstanding Peterloo, a deep and disturbing betrayal has unfolded over the past several decades. It’s a betrayal that involves the failure to hold accountable those who have perpetrated acts of torture, even when the evidence is painfully clear. This betrayal is a stain on the reputation of a nation that has ratified the Convention against Torture and enacted laws designed to prevent such actions.
The Convention against Torture: A Commitment to Justice
The United Kingdom, through its Parliament, ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) in a commitment to combat and prevent torture in all its forms. The CAT, a beacon of hope for victims of torture worldwide, was embraced by the UK as a testament to its dedication to human rights.
The Criminal Justice Act Section 134: A Legal Safeguard Against Torture
In 1988, the British Parliament enacted the Criminal Justice Act, including Section 134, which specifically addresses torture. The Act sends a clear message that torture has no place in the UK and that those who engage in such heinous acts will face the full force of the law.
However, despite these legal safeguards and international commitments, a dark reality has persisted in the UK. Hundreds of white English and Welsh working-class individuals have lost their lives at the hands of British police officers since the enactment of the Criminal Justice Act, and not a single prosecution has taken place. Not one.
A Catalogue of Horrors: Torture by Any Other Name
Among these heartbreaking cases are those that defy any semblance of justice or humanity. A 10-year-old girl tasered by the police, not once but twice. A 93-year-old man, suffering from dementia, with one leg and confined to a wheelchair, beaten, pepper-sprayed, and tasered by police officers, leading to his untimely death two weeks later. A 19-year-old who predicted his own demise at the hands of the police. The death of Dalian Atkinson, subjected to a brutal taser and a kick to the head by police officers, resulting in his death and a manslaughter conviction that falls far short of justice.
The System’s Failings: A Pattern of Injustice
The case of Ian Tomlinson, a newspaper vendor who collapsed and died after being struck by a police officer during the 2009 G-20 summit protests, stands as a testament to the systemic issues plaguing the UK’s justice system. Despite an inquest jury returning a verdict of unlawful killing, the responsible officer was acquitted of manslaughter. Such a travesty of justice is, by the above definition, torture.
The Outcry for Justice
Recent cases, such as the tragic deaths of two youths in the Ely area of Cardiff in May 2023, have sparked public outrage and even riots. These incidents lay bare the stark reality that the UK stands at a precipice, with a growing divide between the public and the justice system. In the face of these injustices, one cannot help but question the role of human rights lawyers, who, despite their exorbitant earnings, seem to have forsaken their duty to seek justice for the oppressed.
A Nation at a Crossroads
The failure to prosecute cases of torture and unlawful use of force by the police has left the United Kingdom at a crossroads. It is a crossroads where justice has been denied, where the cries of the oppressed have fallen on deaf ears, and where the very essence of the rule of law is at stake.
As we ponder this betrayal, we must ask ourselves: Is this the legacy we wish to leave for future generations? Can a nation that aspires to be a beacon of justice and human rights afford to let these injustices persist, unchallenged and unaddressed?
The time for change is now. The United Kingdom must live up to its commitments under the Convention against Torture and its own laws, and ensure that those who commit acts of torture, regardless of their position or authority, are held accountable. Only then can justice be served, and the stain of betrayal be washed away.
Where are the human rights lawyers? They have a domestic law – but they have never used it! Over 500 deaths since CJA 1988 134 enactment not a single prosecution under section 134. Thousands of cases of serious unlawful violence. Not a single prosecution under section 134. You have to ask yourself why? State immunity is UNLAWFUL.
Example Indictment for litigants in person or private prosecution:
“It is alleged that on [Date] at approximately [Time] at [Place] which is within the jurisdiction of the central criminal court England. Police Constable (name) acting as a police constable at the time of the offence, did cause severe pain and suffering to [name of victim] with intent or was reckless as to whether severe pain and suffering would be caused, your actions are alleged to be outside of lawful authority, it is alleged you had no lawful excuse for the severe pain and suffering inflicted, you are indicted with others for committing torture with intent or being reckless as to whether torture was committed, contrary to Criminal Justice Act 1988 section 134 Torture. (1) A public official or person acting in an official capacity, whatever his nationality, commits the offence of torture if in the United Kingdom or elsewhere he intentionally inflicts severe pain or suffering on another in the performance or purported performance of his official duties. (3) It is immaterial whether the pain or suffering is physical or mental and whether it is caused by an act or an omission. (4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section in respect of any conduct of his to prove that he had lawful authority, justification or excuse for that conduct. (5) For the purposes of this section “lawful authority, justification or excuse” means— (a) in relation to pain or suffering inflicted in the United Kingdom, lawful authority, justification or excuse under the law of the part of the United Kingdom where it was inflicted.
(6) A person who commits the offence of torture shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.”
There is NO statute of limitations for the offence of Torture.