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Published On: Fri, Aug 31st, 2018

UK ‘fails’ to meet own torture inquiry deadline

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Araweelo News Network


London(ANN)-The United Kingdom has failed to meet its own deadline to inquire into human rights abuses conducted by state forces in the context of the “war on terror”, the Guardian reported yesterday.

Alan Duncan, minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told MPs that the government would decide within 60 days whether or not to run a judge-led inquiry – the deadline passed on Monday this week.

“Survivors of torture and rendition have waited long enough for the independent inquiry this government promised when it took office eight years ago. Last month a Foreign Office minister promised the House of Commons an announcement would be made ‘within 60 days’,” Dan Dolan, head of policy at the human rights group Reprieve, said.

“Now that window has come and gone without a word from Whitehall, we have to ask what [Prime Minister] Theresa May is waiting for – and how much longer survivors must hold out for the accountability they deserve.”

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Three months ago, May offered an apology for MI6’s role in the kidnap and torture of a Libyan dissident Abdul Hakim Belhadj and his wife Fatimah Boudchar in 2004. This was a new departure for the British government, as it had never apologised before for its actions within the “war on terror”.

Papers that came to light during the Libyan revolution in 2011 revealed that UK intelligence officials had tipped off the Libyan government as to their location, resulting in their arrest, torture and Belhaj’s six-year imprisonment. Boudchar was four and a half months pregnant when she was abducted and was set free shortly before giving birth.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “The government is carefully considering the intelligence and security committee’s reports into detainee mistreatment and rendition issues and will respond formally in due course. Consideration will also be given to the separate calls for another judge-led inquiry.”

UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee reported that British intelligence officers have been involved in human rights abuses on hundreds of occasions. According to government lawyers, there are concerns that some potential human rights abuses took place within international armed conflict and could amount to war crimes.

If the UK government does not investigate the abuses, the international criminal court (ICC) could intervene.

About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist Arraale, is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 WhatsApp + 252 65 910 7347.

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