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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 218365, tabled on 11 December 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) detention and Interrogation Program, what assessment he has made of the treatment of CIA detainees; and whether any detainees were transported through the UK in the conditions described in the study.

Answered on

17 December 2014

The account of the treatment of some detainees by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as reported by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is troubling. As the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) has stated, after 9/11 there were things that happened that were wrong, and we should be clear about the fact that they were wrong.

In July 2010 the Prime Minister asked Sir Peter Gibson to lead an Inquiry into whether Britain was implicated in the improper treatment, or rendition, of detainees held by other countries in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. In December 2013, the Detainee Inquiry published a report on its preparatory work setting out a series of questions which the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament is now considering. The Committee will report to Parliament and the public on completion of its work.

This Government also took the important step of publishing the Consolidated Guidance in 2010 on the obligations of our agencies and the Ministry of Defence in relation to detainees held overseas. The Intelligence Services Commissioner is tasked to monitor compliance with this – a role we have recently put on a statutory footing.

The UK Government stands firmly against torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment. We do not condone it, nor do we ask others to do it on our behalf.

The US Government has assured us that there have been no cases of rendition through the UK, our Overseas Territories including Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory), or the Crown Dependencies since 11 September 2001, apart from the two cases in 2002, about which the then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the then Member for South Shields, Mr Milliband informed the House in 2008.

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