IPT finds that GCHQ intercepted communications of Human Rights NGOs and acted unlawfully


The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) has ruled that intelligence services acted unlawfully in the way that they handled intercepted private communications of two human rights organisations (the South African Legal Resources Centre and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights). The proceedings brought by Liberty, Privacy International, Amnesty International, ACLU and a number of other national human rights organisations from around the world showed that the intelligence agency acted unlawfully in the way that it handled intercepted private communications. The IPT found that GCHQ breached its own internal and secret policies on the interception, examination and retention of emails from the two organisations, violating their rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

Matthew Ryder QC & Edward Craven where instructed by Liberty on behalf of the first and third group of claimants (which included  the successful South African and Egyptian NGOs). Dan Squires was instructed by Bhatt Murphy for the second and fifth claimants and Hugh Tomlinson QC, Nick Armstrong and Tamara Jaber where instructed by Amnesty International for the fourth claimant.

For the press release from Liberty please click here. For the press release from Privacy International please click here.