UK Government re-think on flawed torture Inquiry welcome

January 18, 2012

Responding to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s statement today, in which he said that the Government’s torture (Detainee) Inquiry, which had been set up under Sir Peter Gibson, has now been cancelled, Reprieve’s Executive Director, Clare Algar said:

“While it is crucial that an inquiry is held into UK involvement in rendition and torture, the Gibson Inquiry simply did not have the powers or the independence to get to the truth. Reprieve has said consistently that the Inquiry, as established, would not have achieved the Government’s stated aim of removing the stain on Britain’s international reputation. For that reason, it is welcome that the ministers have decided to think again.”

“It was always clear that the Inquiry could not get underway before the Police investigation into the UK’s shameful collusion in the rendition of Gaddafi opponents back to pre-revolutionary Libya was complete. We therefore look forward to working with the Government to ensure that an inquiry with real clout and real independence is established once these investigations have concluded.”

“This is essential to ensuring that we find out who signed off on Britain’s collaboration in some of the worst excesses of the ‘War on Terror’. It also has to be hoped that the Government sees sense on its proposals to extend secret justice across the country’s courts, as set out in last year’s Justice and Security Green Paper. Unless these are reversed, they could mean that Government involvement in rendition and torture cases such as these is covered up.