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UK PM orders inquiry into claims of torture of terrorists

By Devaki

London, July 7 (ANI): British Prime Minister, David Cameroon has said a 'judge-led' inquiry will look at claims that UK security services were complicit in the torture of terror suspects.

According to the Guardian, Cameroon has assured that the courts would no longer be able to disclose damning evidence which, could jeopardise intelligence sharing with the US.

Cameron told MPs that to ignore the claims would risk operatives' reputation 'being tarnished'.

"Our reputation as a country that believes in human rights, fairness and the rule of law - indeed for much of what the services exist to protect - risks being tarnished," he said.

The prime minister told the MPs that he had asked Sir Peter Gibson, a former appeal court judge who privately monitors the activities of the intelligence agencies, to 'look at whether Britain was implicated in the improper treatment of detainees held by other countries that may have occurred in the aftermath of 9/11'.

"Although there was no evidence that any British officer was directly engaged in torture in the aftermath of 9/11 there were questions over the degree to which British officers were working with foreign security services who were treating detainees in ways they should not have done," he added.

In rulings highly critical of government officials, a string of senior judges ruled this year that CIA information showing MI5 involvement in abuse should be disclosed. The US made it clear it was appalled and suggested it would cut off intelligence sharing with the UK.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Harriet Harman supported the inquiry, saying that any incidents of torture were "morally abhorrent" and a "grave crime against humanity".

"The United Kingdom should always be at the forefront of international efforts to detect and expose torture, and to bring those responsible for it to justice," she said.

The paper also stated Tom Porteous, the London director of the New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch, as saying "The PM's announcement of an inquiry is an excellent first step towards re-establishing the UK's credentials as a rights respecting nation." (ANI)

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