Call for an inquiry over UK Government complicity in torture

Norm summarises the need for an inquiry into five charges of UK complicity in torture in Pakistan, made in a report by Human Rights Watch.

Article 4.1 of the UN Convention Against Torture reads:

Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Commentary in The Guardian, from where I took the picture of Rangzieb Ahmed’s damaged nail beds.

Contact your MP (this site makes it easy) asking for an inquiry. HRW’s recommendations (as copied from The Guardian piece).

The British government should:

  • Order a full and independent public inquiry with subpoena powers to establish whether British security services have been complicit in torture or other ill-treatment in Pakistan and elsewhere.
  • Adopt measures to address the criticism of the government’s counter-terrorism policy, including in reports by the parliamentary joint human rights committee and the House of Commons Foreign affairs committee, so as to ensure that British policy and practices on counterterrorism meet the UK’s international obligations regarding torture or other ill-treatment.
  • Investigate allegations of complicity by the British security services in the torture and ill-treatment of terrorism suspects in Pakistan. Where sufficient evidence of wrongdoing exists, prosecute those responsible, regardless of position or rank.
  • Publish without delay current and past guidance to the intelligence services on the interrogation of suspects overseas.
  • While cooperating with Pakistan on counter-terror and law enforcement activities, take all necessary measures to ensure that torture and ill-treatment of suspects or others is not used, and act to stop it should it occur.

If you want to throw some money at this, I think a good bet is the investigative and legal human rights charity Reprieve, whose representative I heard pitch at a vetted fund-raising event a few months back. Here’s their most recent post on this matter.

 

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