It was revealed recently that the Ministry of Defence has been approving actions which would lead to torture if “the potential benefits justify accepting the risk and legal consequences”. Torture never works and is always wrong. We have known this for centuries and even this government cannot pretend otherwise.
The UN Committee Against Torture has demanded that the government hold a judge-led inquiry in a report of recommendations. The report stated that “the Committee notes with concern that the ISC’s inquiry was prematurely closed due to lack of access to key evidence, as the UK government refused to provide access to witnesses from the State party’s intelligence agencies”.
Field Marshall Lord Guthrie, former Chief of Defence Staff, in The Times ten years ago: “torture…is a crime in both peace and war that no exceptional circumstances can permit”
The UK government’s support for torture threatens the international rules-based order while strengthening our enemies. Not only is it morally abhorrent, but a threat to our national security.
We must be given the full details about the UK’s past and present involvement in torture, including flights which passed through airports in the UK. We must be told whether ministers were aware of the human rights abuses that we now know may have occurred in this country.
The government must immediately establish an enquiry into alleged acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainee which were committed by, at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of British officials.