Rights groups pull out of UK torture inquiry
London: British rights groups and lawyers
said today they would boycott an inquiry into alleged secret
service involvement in the torture of terror suspects,
accusing it of lacking credibility.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and legal
charity Reprieve were among 10 groups which said they would
not submit any more evidence or attend further preparatory
meetings for the inquiry, which is yet to start.
"We were keen to assist the inquiry in the vital work of
establishing the truth about allegations that UK authorities
were involved in the mistreatment of detainees held abroad,"
they said in a joint letter.
"Our strong view, however, is that the process currently
proposed does not have the credibility or transparency to
Prime Minister David Cameron announced the inquiry last
year to address allegations that secret services were
complicit in the torture of violent extremists on foreign soil
after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Led by retired judge Peter Gibson, it will begin after
the completion of police investigations into alleged British
complicity in torture.
Calls for a probe mounted after a British court decided
in February last year to allow the publication of previously
classified details about the treatment of British resident
Ethiopian-born Mohamed, who was represented by Reprieve,
alleged he was tortured with the knowledge of British security
services in Pakistan and Morocco.
In their letter today, the rights groups criticised the
inquiry's terms of reference published last month.