US Senate torture report: 1yr on, still no UK accountability, says Reprieve

© Chris Helgren
Accountability is still lacking a year after the landmark report into US torture and rendition. No inquiry into UK government involvement has been initiated, according to the charity Reprieve.

With no sign of an inquiry, the charity says the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is also yet to make a decision on the role played by UK security services.

It is shocking that the UK is lagging so far behind the US when it comes to holding the government accountable for its role in torture,” said Reprieve director Cori Crider in a statement.

Crider also represents the families of Libyans who say they were rendered with UK complicity.

We know that Britain worked hand-in-glove with the CIA to kidnap and render a pregnant woman and several young children, just because they were related to anti-Gaddafi dissidents.

Crider was referring to Sami al Saadi and Abdul-Hakim Belhaj, both of whom ended up in the custody of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s spy chiefs with British help.

The families had great hope in British justice at the beginning of this process, but after nearly a year of delay, they now ask me why prosecutors appear to be dragging their feet on a decision,” Crider said.

Britain can’t turn the page on torture until we’ve accounted for what we did. How long will we have to wait before seeing a proper, independent inquiry into the wider part the UK played in this brutal program?

In April, and despite official UK denials at the time of the report’s release, fresh concerns were raised over British politicians lobbying the US to remove mentions of the UK from the report.

Documents obtained by Reprieve suggest the UK actively approached an influential US politician, who was opposed to publishing the report on security grounds.

Senior members of the British government met with Senator Marco Rubio, a prominent Republican running for president in 2016, on five occasions in the 12 months prior to its release in December last year.

Rubio is a member of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and has been described as a “hawk” by the New York Times.