UK Foreign Affairs Committee underscores that it is time to act to establish the truth on torture
The UK government should take any necessary steps to ensure progress with an inquiry into allegations of UK complicity in the abuse of detainees after 9/11, an influential parliamentary committee said in a report today.
This echoes REDRESS’ concerns, which were laid out in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) in May.
In its report, the FAC states that inquiring into allegations of rendition or ill-treatment of detainees by the UK government and its security and intelligence agencies “should not come to a complete halt while criminal investigations are under way”. The report specifically mentions the police investigations into the claims of two Libyan citizens, which the Government acknowledged could take months or even years to complete.
The FAC also notes that the Government has not yet made public any information from the abandoned Detainee Inquiry, which was set up in 2010 to look into allegations of this nature, but could not progress beyond its preparatory work. In June 2012, Sir Peter Gibson, who had led the Inquiry, presented a report to the Government on its preparatory work. At the time, the Government said as much as possible of it would be made public. However, none of its contents have been released publicly more than a year later.
The FAC encourages the Government to take “whatever steps it can” – including “swift publication of as much as possible of Sir Peter Gibson’s report” – to ensure that the process of inquiring into these most serious allegations continues.
“We are glad that the FAC has challenged the Government’s apparent passivity and its delay in establishing the truth of what happened. Only when the full truth emerges, will the Government be in a position to stop these shameful incidents from happening again,” said Carla Ferstman, Director of REDRESS.
Commenting on the publication of Gibson’s report, Ferstman said: “Public scrutiny is not only vital to government transparency; it is central to ensure accountability and to help victims obtain justice.”
For further information:
Contact Eva Sanchis at [email protected] or +44 (0) 2077931777.
Note to editors:
REDRESS was founded by a torture survivor in 1992. Since then, it has consistently fought for the rights of torture survivors and their families in the UK and abroad. REDRESS takes legal challenges on behalf of survivors, works to ensure that torturers are punished and that survivors and their families obtain remedies for their suffering.
REDRESS works with civil society groups around the world to eradicate the practice of torture once and for all and to ensure that survivors can move forward with their lives in dignity. It has intervened in a range of leading torture cases. More information on our work is available on our website: www.redress.org.