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Does our Foreign policy lead to torture?

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Human Rights Watch condemns British role in Pakistan

Whilst David Miliband the Foreign Secretary and South Shields MP battle with High Court judges to keep the whole of the Binyam Mohamed affair tightly under wraps the campaigning Human Rights Watch puts additional pressure on the Foreign Office and the government’s legal machinery over our role in the questioning of terror suspects in Pakistan.

Researchers at the New York-based NGO spoke to Pakistani intelligence agents directly involved in the torture who say their British counterparts knew they were mistreating British terrorism suspects. These agents said British officials were “breathing down their necks for information” while they were torturing a medical student from London, and that British intelligence officers were “grateful” they were “using all means possible” to extract information from a man from Luton being beaten, whipped, deprived of sleep and threatened with an electric drill.

“UK complicity is clear,” the report says, adding that it had put the government in a “legally, morally and politically invidious position”.

Torture is generally regarded as counter productive, does not produce good intelligence or evidence, and provides the opportunity for suspects to say whatever their torturers want to hear in order to put an end to their degradations. It is the last vestige of the bestial, it is the behaviour of the monster, and has no place in any modern liberal western democracy or it’s foreign arms.

An independent judicial inquiry into torture claims must be instigated and people must be held to account for their actions (or inaction), the Conservatives, the Liberal-Democrats have added themselves to a growing list of people calling for an inquiry into Britain’s role. Others queing up to pressure the government include parliament’s joint committee on human rights, Amnesty International, and the former director of public prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald. Lord Carlile, the government’s independent reviewer of counter terrorism legislation, Lord Guthrie, a former chief of defence staff, and Lord King of Bridgwater, a former Conservative defence and Northern Ireland Secretary.

It is time for David Miliband and Baroness Scotland to accede to these demands.

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Written by curly

November 25, 2009 at 11:21 am

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