UK Politics

Liberal Democratic Party: Government must answer whether ministers were complicit in torture

Press Release   •   Feb 11, 2010 10:03 GMT

“The significance of the Foreign Secretary’s defeat lies in the contents of the seven paragraphs that he has now been forced to publish. These make it clear that the British secret services knew the United States was torturing Binyam Mohamed," said the Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Speaking after David Miliband’s statement on Binyam Mohamed, Edward Davey said:

“This is an embarassing defeat for David Miliband and a victory for open government. Once again we have had to wait for the courts to force the Government to do the right thing. Whatever happened to Gordon Brown’s moral compass?

“The significance of the Foreign Secretary’s defeat lies in the contents of the seven paragraphs that he has now been forced to publish. These make it clear that the British secret services knew the United States was torturing Binyam Mohamed. This raises questions about what actions the Government then took to object to that torture and to meet Britain’s international legal obligations.

“The Foreign Secretary sought to hide behind the current police investigations on British complicity in torture, but failed to acknowledge that such questions demand an answer and that, given the gravity of the allegations, ministers must be held to account.

“The Government can no longer dodge the key political questions of which ministers knew the US was using torture, what they did about it, and whether or not those ministers caused Britain to be complicit in torture.

“The current police investigations into allegations of British complicity in torture must ask these questions, and interview the relevant senior Ministers of the time. We then need a judicial inquiry to look into the many other allegations that have been made.”