The segregation of two high-profile Islamic terrorist prisoners accused of intimidating and bullying other prisoners over matters of faith has been upheld as lawful by the High Court.
Ricin plot conspirator Kamel Bourgass and “liquid bomber” Tanvir Hussain both claimed their human rights were violated when they were put in segregation units for extended periods.
But Mr Justice Irwin, sitting in London on Friday, rejected their claims that they had been treated unlawfully and unfairly.
The judge said the procedures adopted to place them in, and keep them in, segregation did not breach their common law rights, or their rights under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to fair treatment.
In both cases, segregation followed allegations that the men were trying to influence and dictate the beliefs of other prisoners. They denied the accusations.
Prison authorities considered it was necessary to separate them from other inmates “for good order and discipline”.
The judge said Bourgass was accused of attempting to exert control over other prisoners, especially fellow Muslims whom he “pressurised” to attend prayers.
He was reported to have told them “when and how to pray and what to eat and read”, was suspected of being involved in organising an assault on one prisoner who needed 50 stitches to his face, and had also attempted to persuade fellow inmates “not to speak to staff – especially female staff”.
Bourgass denied the allegations and said he had never been involved in bullying or trying to convert non-believers to Islam.
In the Hussain case, the judge said security intelligence suggests he had preached his interpretation of Islamic ideals through his cell window, and that interpretation was “in line with his terrorist beliefs and conviction”.