Clive Stafford Smith will describe new evidence of UK complicity in torture at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing tomorrow

May 19, 2009

Image of Ibrahim Halawa with his hands tied in a chair in a warehouse

Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith will give evidence at the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Inquiry on Human Rights, which begins tomorrow.

The inquiry’s first evidence session, which is open to the public, will be held in the Grimond Room at Portcullis House, Westminster at 2.30 pm on Wednesday 20th May.

Mr Stafford Smith will detail how British security agents directed an undercover informant – known as the ‘Muslim 007’ – to try to convince Mr Mohamed to turn informant in order to end his torture in Morocco.

Far from the Americans keeping the British in the dark concerning Mr Mohamed’s whereabouts for two years, this evidence will suggest that Britain’s involvement in the ‘medieval’ treatment of the former Guantánamo prisoner goes far deeper than previously admitted.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who is expected to appear before the same inquiry in June to respond to the MPs inquiries, filed a new application in court on Friday seeking to suppress a summary of the CIA and British intelligence documents that describe some of Mr Mohamed’s ordeal.

“We welcome the Committee’s interest,” said Stafford Smith. “This is a parliamentary body that has the power to compel witnesses to attend, and there are a various civil servants who need to come to answer some pointed questions about who knew what and when, and whether official public statements made to date have been economical with the truth.”

-ENDS-

For more information please contact Katherine O’Shea at Reprieve’s Press Office katherine.oshea@reprieve.org.uk 020 7427 1099/ 07931592674.

Journalists wishing to film or take photographs should contact Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 07917 488488 or patersona@parliament.uk.

Notes for Editors:

Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

1. The Foreign Affairs Committee is responsible for scrutinising the “expenditure, administration and policy” of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its associated public bodies. The text of all Committee publications, including Reports, can be found on the Committee’s website atwww.parliament.uk/facom

2. Committee meetings are open to the public. Access is via Cromwell Green Entrance for theHouse of Commons Committee Rooms and the main entrance on the Thames Embankment for Portcullis House Rooms. It is advisable to allow about 10 minutes to pass through security checks. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in the Committee Rooms.

Committee members: Mike Gapes (Chairman), Labour, Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell, Liberal Democrats, Mr Fabian Hamilton, Labour, Rt Hon David Heathcoat- Amory, Conservative, Mr John Horam, Conservative, Mr Eric Illsley, Labour, Mr Paul Keetch, Liberal Democrats, Andrew Mackinlay, Labour, Mr Malcolm Moss, Conservative, Sandra Osborne, Labour, Mr Greg Pope, Labour, Mr Ken Purchase, Labour, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, Conservative, Ms Gisela Stuart, Labour

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