British Intelligence Involved in Rendition, Told to Ignore Torture: Inquiry
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - British intelligence in Afghanistan was aware of US mistreating terror suspect detainees after 9/11 attacks, but was told not to intervene, a new inquiry found. It also concluded Britain might have been inappropriately involved in US rendition practices.
The inquiry, set up back in 2010 by Prime Minister David Cameron, has looked into some 20,000 security documents. The review followed allegations of wrongdoing on the part of MI5 and MI6, Britain’s domestic and overseas intelligence services, as the US prosecuted its war against terror after the 2001 attack. The episodes were said to have involved torture, mistreatment and illegal transfers.
On Thursday the results of the investigation were presented to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC).
The report found that British intelligence officers were fully aware of US mistreatment of suspected militants in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, but were instructed to turn a blind eye out of the fear of offending Washington.
“Officers were advised that, faced with apparent breaches of Geneva Convention standards, there was no obligation to intervene,” declared retired judge Sir Peter Gibson, who headed the inquiry.
Cabinet Office Minister Ken Clarke stated however that there was little evidence of British officers being directly involved in any torture; still fears of complicity linger, RT reported.
“Documents indicate that in some instances UK intelligence officers were aware of inappropriate interrogation techniques," the report said. “[The] government or its agencies may have become inappropriately involved in some cases of rendition.”
“That is a very serious matter. And no doubt any future inquiry would want to look at that,” Gibson said.
Four criminal investigations are currently being undertaken by Scotland Yard over Libyan renditions, alongside activities of UK officers at Guantanamo Bay and a detention center at the largest military base in Afghanistan.