23 December 2014

European countries must acknowledge their role in CIA rendition programme

Professor Manfred Novak, United Nations special rapporteur on torture between 2004 and 2010, has stated that the United Kingdom must undertake independent investigations into allegations of its involvement in the CIA’s torture programme. Contrary to the assurances given by both the Labour and coalition government, Novak gathered evidence suggesting that the United States utilised the British overseas territory of Diego Garcia for detaining individuals. The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that they had “received a file of evidence from the Metropolitan police investigating two specific cases of alleged rendition of named individuals to Libya and their alleged ill-treatment” with the apparent assistance of MI6. The CPS correspondent also stated that they were “now in a position to begin considering the material with a view to making a charging decision”. 

It has been questioned whether the report produced by the Senate committee excluded information in relation to rendition programmes in overseas territories of US allies. Professor Novak noted that the report did not refer to Diego Garcia despite “clear indications that it was more than just refuelling, that people had been held there”. He stated that the publication of the 500-page report meant that the UK, like other European countries would have to acknowledge their roles in the CIA’s rendition programme. Novak noted that the argument by many European states that they cannot reveal information as they have promised “full confidentiality to the US” can no longer be retained.

“The time will come for the US to release the full report,” he said. “European states such as Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Germany or UK that were one way or the other cooperating with the CIA will have to carry out independent investigations.”

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Source: The Guardian | UK must probe its role in CIA torture, says UN legal expert

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