Document Library - Press Releases

Category: 2008
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All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary RenditionHouse of Commons   Press release: Immediate, 6 February 2008  As the CIA admits to ‘waterboarding’ detainees in its rendition and secret detention programme, Andrew Tyrie calls on the UK government to pull its head out of the sand and condemn the US’ use of torture.  Andrew Tyrie MP said: “Yesterday CIA Director Michael Hayden admitted that the US has used ‘waterboarding’ on detainees in its rendition and secret detention programme.”  “Torture such as this is not only immoral and illegal, but ineffective as a counter-terrorism policy.  It is widely held that cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as well as torture, makes intelligence gathering more difficult in the long run.”  “I will be writing to the Foreign Secretary to ask three questions: 1.      Does the Government oppose ‘waterboarding’ as a matter of principle? 2.      If so, has the Government made clear its disapproval of the application of this technique in these cases? 3.      Has any intelligence, passed to the UK, been obtained through the use of ‘waterboarding’?”   “I will be copying this letter to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.”  ENDS.

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Press release: Embargoed 00:00am Friday 11th January 2008 On the sixth anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo, Andrew Tyrie MP condemns the legal and moral black hole created by the US administration, and the destruction of interrogation tapes by CIA officers Andrew Tyrie MP said: “Six years ago the first detainees arrived at Guantanamo.  Today, prisoners in this legal and moral black hole are still denied the most basic of legal protections.”  “Guantanamo Bay and other US policies, including extraordinary rendition – whereby people have been kidnapped around the world and taken to places where they may be maltreated or tortured – have made the world less secure from dangerous extremism, not more.  They have damaged the west’s reputation abroad.”  “The destruction of the CIA interrogation tapes raises further questions about the integrity of US foreign policy.  We know the US administration has authorised ‘waterboarding’ in the past, a procedure that most people would consider to constitute torture.  The apparently deliberate destruction of evidence can only serve to deepen mistrust of US foreign policy operations in the name of national security.”  “The UK Government’s reluctance to condemn the United States on these issues is shameful.  It must now do all it can to establish the truth about the interrogations conducted by the CIA, and to ensure that the UK adheres to its obligations on torture and does not rely only on assurances from the US.  In the light of the destruction of these tapes the value of such assurances cannot be high.”  ENDS.

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Press release: Immediate Wednesday 9th January 2008     Responding to the news that the Official Secrets Act case against Foreign Office official Derek Pasquill has been dropped, Andrew Tyrie MP criticised the government’s reluctance to allow the truth about possible British involvement in rendition to be told. Andrew Tyrie MP said: “Cover-up and obfuscation by the UK government have hampered efforts to discover the truth about British involvement in the US rendition programme from day one.” “The government was keeping no records and asking no questions on rendition.  That cannot give the public confidence that the UK has not been embroiled in this murky practice.  Proper investigation and procedures to ensure we can never again be complicit in extraordinary renditions are the only measures that will suffice.”   “It is the policy of extraordinary rendition which damages the public interest, not allowing the truth to be told about it.”