Liberty launch ‘No torture, no compromise’ campaign

The UK based human rights organisation Liberty, issued the following press release yesterday. Their letter to Jack Straw can also be read here

Liberty demands Government halt CIA ‘torture’ flight stops in Britain

Human rights group calls for USA assurances on extraordinary rendition

Today Liberty called on Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to seek assurances in the next 14 days from the USA that it is not using UK airports to transport suspects to countries that torture. Liberty fears that the UK is in breach of domestic and international law by allowing CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ flights to land and re-fuel in Britain.

Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti said:

‘It is troubling that our Government chases Algeria for anti-torture assurances but cowers from confronting the USA on the same issue. It is the abhorrence of torture that distinguishes all democrats from dictators and terrorists. What can we say to those who perpetrate atrocities in London and around the world if we allow ourselves to become complicit in the cheapening of human life?’

Liberty also requested that the Police Chief Constables of Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, the Metropolitan Police, the Ministry of Defence Police, Suffolk, Sussex, Thames Valley, and West Midlands investigate suspected extraordinary rendition flights at their local airports. They too have been asked to respond within 14 days.

Liberty’s call to action against extraordinary rendition marks the launch of its ‘No torture, no compromise’ campaign which seeks to make the UK government honour its positive obligation to stop torture and ill-treatment.