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SMOKE AND MIRRORS REMAIN INTELLIGENCE SECURITY COMMITTEE REPORT DOES NOT END CONCERNS OVER TORTURE, RENDITIONS AND THE RULE OF LAW – POSITIVE OBLIGATION TO RESPOND TO ‘EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS’ REMAINS 30 July 2007 On 17 July 2007 REDRESS submitted a Memorandum on Rendition to the UK Government calling on it, inter alia, to take specific positive steps to ensure that it abides by its national and international law obligations to prevent torture and cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment.
TIME TO END THE SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Positive Obligations to Respond to “Extraordinary Renditions” Memorandum to the UK Government, July 2007
1 UK position on ‘extraordinary rendition’ – see no evil, ask no evil, hear no evil?
2 Council of Europe recommendations fall on deaf ears?
2 Need for accountability and scrutiny
4 Need for a public inquiry: ambit and scope
6 Summary of Recommendations
Human Rights Watch wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport in support of the APPG's draft measures for legislative reform on rendition.
Justice wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport in support of the APPG's draft measures for legislative reform on rendition.
APPG Chairman Andrew Tyrie, Vice Chairman Norman Lamb, and Specialist Adviser Mark Pallis travelled to the US to hold a series of meetings on rendition with members of the Administration, Congressmen and their staff, and Senior Senate Staffers. They made their points strongly to the administration, and found a receptive audience on Capitol Hill, where Congressmen indicated their willingness to investigate rendition, and to work with the APPG to further examine the UK’s role in the practice.
A review of the APPG's activities between its establishment in December 2005 and December 2006. It covers the publication of briefing papers provided by NYU and Professor James Crawford; the holding of Information Sessions on Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna; forcing the Government to clarify the permissions system that applies to rendition flights through the UK; collaboration with the Council of Europe, European Parliament, UK Committees; and a report of the APPG's visit to the US to hold a series of meetings on rendition with members of the Administration, Congressmen and their staff, and Senior Senate Staffers.
The memo written for the Prime Minister's Office on rendition, and subsequently leaked to the New Statesman.
The APPG commissioned a legal opinion on rendition from Professor James Crawford, an eminent expert from Cambridge University. The Legal Opinion showed clearly that the UK could not simply rely on the US assurances to ensure that it was in compliance with its international legal obligations. Since the publication of the Opinion, the UK position has dramatically shifted and is now much stricter: “we will grant permission only if we are satisfied that the rendition would accord with UK law and our international obligations, and how we understand our obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture.” The Opinion received considerable press coverage: e.g. The Guardian ‘Investigator links Europe's spy agencies to CIA flights’, ‘CIA flight reports “credible”’; The BBC ‘CIA flight assurances 'worthless'; numerous ‘blog sites’; and the European Times from where it was forwarded to US members of Congress by Congressman Edward Markey as evidence in support of his legislative attempt to prevent the US continuing the practice of rendition. The Opinion has also become the definitive analysis of the Rice statement and has been extensively cited in Parliament.
The Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University law school produced a Briefing Paper on rendition for the APPG