Northern Ireland

Gerry McKerr: One of 'hooded men' dies in hospital

Gerard McKerr Image copyright RTE
Image caption Mr McKerr was one of 10 men taking the UK to the European Court of Human Rights

Gerry McKerr, one of the "hooded men", who alleged they were tortured and held without trial in Northern Ireland in 1971, has died.

Fourteen men claimed they were hooded, forced to listen to constant loud static noise, deprived of sleep, food and water, forced to stand in a stress position and beaten if they fell.

Mr McKerr died in hospital on Tuesday. He was 71.

The case is currently back before the European Court of Human Rights.

It followed a move by the Irish government last December, which is now backing the men's campaign to have the case reopened. It said their treatment should be recognised as torture.

The men had claimed some of them were thrown from helicopters while their heads were covered with hoods.

They were told they were hundreds of feet in the air and believed they were going to be thrown to their deaths, while in reality they were only about 20 ft from the ground.

In February, international human rights lawyer and wife of Hollywood star George Clooney, Amal Clooney, joined a legal team representing the men taking the UK to the European Court of Human Rights.

In a statement, Amnesty International said Mr McKerr was a "tireless campaigner for justice and never gave up, right to his dying day".

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