4 August 2011

Gibson torture enquiry rethink needed

News that civil liberties groups will boycott Sir Peter Gibson's enquiry into UK citizen's 'war on terror' torture claims and what Labour government officials knew is a blow to the enquiry - and the government's liberal credentials.

The excuse from Malcolm Rifkind that he 'cannot recollect an inquiry that's been proposed to be so open' is entirely irrelevant as previous government's have always allowed the security forces off the hook through excessive secrecy.

While it is the case that certain information regarding security issues would always need to be examined in private, drawing up terms of reference so restrictive that those actually representing the detainees feel they cannot reasonably take part is clearly wrong.

Liberal Democrats in government need to prove they make a difference and are leading a new style of open and deliberative politics. Here is a simple issue for the Deputy PM and colleagues to take a stand and make a liberal and democratic difference.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely right Dan. If the liberal element of the coalition can stomach a cover-up into the British state's complicity in torture, it is a sad day indeed. I might say we expect no better of the Tories, but in fact it was Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie who took a most honourable lead on extraordinary rendition.
    It should not even be a partisan issue: failure to prosecute participation in torture is a failure of UK law, as the UK is a party to the United Nations Convention Against Torture having ratified it as part of the Criminal Justice Act of 1988 (Sections 134-138).
    If prosecutions do not follow, it will completely remove the already motheaten claim of the US and the UK to be democratic nations under the rule of law.