Some views from the UK as Rice starts European visit

For the full article go to The Guardian

Last night MPs, who have formed a campaign group to challenge British support for the CIA’s so-called extraordinary renditions programme, met for the first time and demanded that the government come clean about the use of UK facilities. The all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary renditions was presented with a report by American legal academics which suggested that Britain may be breaking international law by “acquiescing” in torture.

The Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the parliamentary committee, questioned the value of the assurances sought from countries where suspected terrorists were sent that they would not be tortured.”We have to ask ourselves how valuable assurances of that type are from countries such as Egypt, Syria and Libya,” he said.” I think it is highly likely that some of these people will have been tortured.”

He said the committee would ask Mr Straw to give evidence to it, adding that the MPs were “not prepared to put up with vacuous replies”.

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, described Ms Rice’s admission as disingenuous. “What possible purpose is served by rendition other than to subject individuals to harsher treatment than would otherwise be the case?” he asked.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said any suggestion from Ms Rice that the ends justified the means “would give dangerous ammunition to every dictator and terrorist around the world”.