Saturday, July 10, 2010

Torture Complicity

Torture Complicity Under the Spotlight in Europe (Part Two): Germany and France

Rendition Map

Jul 9th, 2010 Last week, in the first of two articles examining how “War on Terror”-related complicity in torture is under intense scrutiny in Europe, I ran through the history of Britain’s post-9/11 involvement in US torture, and its extensive forays into holding people without charge or trial in the UK, attempting to send foreign nationals back to countries where they face the risk of torture, using information derived from torture in other countries (sometimes with direct British involvement) and subsequently using this information operationally and even in judicial hearings.

The trigger for this article was an announcement by the British government that the terms of a judge-led inquiry into British complicity in torture — first announced by foreign secretary William Hague on May 20 — have been agreed. This is welcome news, as it indicates that the UK may be the first Western country prepared to conduct an official inquiry into the whole of its post-9/11 policies, as they relate to torture — although it was worrying to hear that Prime Minister David Cameron had “suggest[ed] that the inquiry would examine only one case — that of Binyam Mohamed — and, in addition, that he “had already concluded that the country’s intelligence agencies were guilty only of errors of omission, not commission.” Continued

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