Reprieve commends Foreign Affairs Committee for its continuing investigation into renditions through Diego Garcia

July 7, 2008

On Sunday the Foreign Affairs Committee issued its latest report into the UK’s Overseas Territories, and Reprieve is delighted to discover that the cross-party committee has not shied away from criticizing the US Administration for its failure to tell the truth to the UK government, which is supposed to be its closest ally, about rendition flights through Diego Garcia. Reprieve is also heartened that the committee has no intention of letting the matter drop.

In the relevant section of the report, the committee noted:

“On Diego Garcia itself, we conclude that it is deplorable that previous US assurances about rendition flights have turned out to be false. The failure of the United States Administration to tell the truth resulted in the UK Government inadvertently misleading our Select Committee and the House of Commons. We intend to examine further the extent of UK supervision of US activities on Diego Garcia, including all flights and ships serviced from Diego Garcia.”

Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s Director, said:

“It is good to see that the Foreign Affairs Committee is prepared to tackle the US Administration for its deception over Diego Garcia. This is in marked contrast to the Foreign Office, which, as we noted last Thursday, is unable to ask any of the truly searching questions that need answering: What are the names of the two prisoners that all parties agree were rendered through Diego Garcia in 2002? Did any other rendition flights pass through Diego Garcia even if, as the US asserts, no other planes landed there? And were any other flights through UK territory en route to engaging in ‘extraordinary rendition’, which would make the UK complicit in the crime? The government can rest assured that the answers to these questions will be forthcoming – and in the relatively near future. So it would make sense for the government to clean its own house rather than wait for Reprieve to do it.”

For further information, please contact Andy Worthington at Reprieve’s Press Office on 020 7427 1099 or at Andy@reprieve.org.uk

Note to Editors:

Reprieve’s previous press release about Diego Garcia, following David Miliband’s statement on 3 July, can be found here