The Court of Appeal today ruled against the Ministry of Defence in relation to the detention of Serdar Mohammed who was captured and detained by UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan in April 2010.
During an operation in Afghanistan, UK Armed Forces came under heavy and sustained small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire, resulting in the wounding of three UK personnel, the deaths of two insurgents and the capture of two others, including Mr Mohammed. He was an insurgent, assessed to be a senior Taleban commander, believed to have been involved in the large-scale production of Improvised Explosive Devices and to have commanded a local Taleban training camp in mid-2009.
A successful claim was brought on his behalf in the High Court in 2014. This was appealed by the MOD, leading to today's ruling.
Minister for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt said:
We are extremely disappointed with this judgement and will be seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
We were right to detain Serdar Mohammed who we believed to be involved in the production of IEDs on an industrial scale. During his capture our troops came under heavy fire, and 3 of them were wounded. The notion that dangerous insurgents cannot be detained for more than a few hours is ludicrous.
Our Bill of Rights will help address these concerns as will other measures Ministers have been working on since the election. We will announce proposals later this year. This judgment further demonstrates the need to ensure the primacy of International Humanitarian Law such as the Geneva Conventions, which were designed for conflict situations.
Our armed forces must be able to detain enemies who attempt to maim and kill UK service personnel and civilians. If the law does not allow that then the law must change.