The Great Debate UK
- Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher for Human Rights Watch, has worked extensively on counterterrorism issues. The opinions expressed are her own. -
Torture is prohibited under international law, at anytime and anywhere. No exceptions are allowed. Yet the UK, France and Germany are engaged in ongoing counterterrorism cooperation with foreign intelligence services in countries that routinely use torture.
These European governments use foreign torture information for intelligence and policing purposes. And the rules in each country meant to keep torture evidence out of the courts – including foreign torture evidence – don’t work because the burden falls on defendants to prove the information was obtained under torture, a nearly impossible task.
In Human Rights Watch’s new report, No Questions Asked: Intelligence Cooperation with Countries that Torture, we argue that uncritical use of foreign torture information violates the duty of all countries under international law to prevent and eradicate torture worldwide.
-Padraig Reidy is news editor at Britain’s Index on Censorship an organisation promoting freedom of expression. The opinions expressed are his own.-
The Court of Appeal’s decision on Wednesday to release material relating to the torture of “war on terror” detainee Binyam Mohamed is undoubtedly an embarrassment for David Miliband, the Foreign Office and the government.
- Moazzam Begg is Director for the British organisation, Cageprisoners. The opinions expressed are his own. -
Little seems to have changed regarding the treatment of prisoners held at the U.S. military-run Bagram prison since I was there (2002-2004). The recent study conducted by the BBC shows allegations of sleep deprivation, stress positions, beatings, degrading treatment, religious and racial abuse have gone unabated. On a personal level though, I can’t help wonder if British intelligence services are still involved.
Exactly five years ago, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, two Britons, Naheem Hussain and Rehan Zaman, were in Dadyal Police Station, in Pakistan having been arrested on murder charges.
-Clara Gutteridge is renditions investigator at Reprieve. The opinions expressed are her own.-
The big surprise in Tuesday’s revelations of prisoner abuse at Bagram is how long these stories have taken to reach the international media, given the scale of the problem.
from The Great Debate:
The following piece was co-written by Matthew Alexander, Joe Navarro and Lieutenant General Robert Gard (USA-Ret.) They are pictured from left to right.
Matthew Alexander led an interrogations team assigned to a special operations task force in Iraq in 2006. He is the author of "How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq." He is writing under a pseudonym for security reasons.
- Daniel Gorevan is head of Amnesty International‘s Counter Terror with Justice campaign. The opinions expressed are his own. -
Tony Blair’s government reportedly advised MI5 officers that the UK must not be “seen to condone” torture. However, evidence is mounting that British agents knowingly exploited torture perpetrated by others.