British MPs hold MI5 and MI6 to be "woefully unaccountable" over torture methods

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London, Aug. 4 (ANI): British intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, have been accused of being "woefully unaccountable" for allegedly using torture methods of questioning detainees overseas.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has called for a public inquiry into allegations of torture, The Telegraph reports.

A Joint Committee report over allegations of complicity in torture concluded: "In view of the large number of unanswered questions. There is now no other way to restore public confidence in the intelligence services than by setting up an independent inquiry."

Claiming, "ministers are determined to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny and accountability," the committee urged ministers to publish the instructions given to security service officers on the detention and interviewing of detainees overseas.

Ministers have refused to give oral evidence to the committee on allegations of torture or have given only general answers to detailed questions about the treatment of individual detainees, said the report.

"The allegations we have heard about UK complicity in torture are extremely serious. An independent inquiry is the only way to get to the bottom of these stories, clear the air and make recommendations for the future conduct and management of the security services," said Committee chairman Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon.

"The recent allegations should be a wake-up call to ministers that the current arrangements are not satisfactory. We look to the Government to respond positively to our recommendations and not to continue to hide behind their wall of secrecy," he added.

The committee criticised the current structure, which involves closed-door investigations by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), a parliamentary committee made up of MPs but appointed by the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, seven former Guantanamo detainees, including Binyam Mohamed, are suing MI5, MI6, the Attorney General, the Foreign Office and the Home Office over their treatment. (ANI)

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