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Britain will release parts of secret report on rendition flights

Published time: March 05, 2013 21:24
Reuters / Gary Cameron

Reuters / Gary Cameron

The UK will publish parts of a confidential report on its role in the US rendition of foreign suspected terrorists, the British envoy to the United National Human Rights Council (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.

The British announcement came after a demand from the UN investigator that the US and Britain reveal their finding on rendition, according to Reuters.

The counter terrorism investigator at the UNHCR, Ben Emerson, said that they must hold all states to account, “including the most powerful”.

“The exposure of the criminal matrix organized by the Bush-era CIA, from the heart of the world’s most powerful democracy, now calls for an unequivocal response from all of the states that took part in the program,” said Emerson.

The ‘war on terror’ waged after the al Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11th 2001, allegedly led to systematic violations of human rights where Islamic militant suspects were transferred on clandestine flights to secret prisons where they were tortured.

President W. Bush even admitted in his memoirs that he had ordered the use of ‘waterboarding’, a simulation of drowning, which is considered a form of torture and banned by international law.

Karen Price, the British ambassador to the UN told the UNHCR, that the UK would publish at least some of the conclusions of an inquiry by Judge Peter Gibson, whose 2012 report examined whether British agents had been involved in rendition but has not to date been published.

Pearce said the results of the inquiry would not be made public until police investigations related to the incident were concluded.

A similar American report by a Senate select committee on intelligence chaired by Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic Senator, which investigated the secret rendition program including the use of waterboarding, was concluded in December 2011, but has never published its findings.

Jamil Dakwar, from the American Civil Liberties Union has said the report must be released.

While the Obama administration has disavowed torture, it has shielded former bush administration officials from accountability and despite initial promises Guantanamo remains open.

Numerous reports in the UK media and a book published last year by Ian Cobain, an award winning investigative journalist, revealed that the British security services new exactly what was going on during the secret rendition flights, many of which used British airports on their way to the US.


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