June 29, 2010

United Kingdom

 

We abhor torture; we will not co-operate or collude with it; and, in line with our international commitments, we are honour-bound not just to avoid wrongdoing ourselves but to try to reduce, and if possible eliminate, the use of cruel or inhuman treatment or torture around the world.
—David Miliband, then UK Foreign Secretary, June 2009[51]
The UN Convention Against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights...do not impose a positive obligation to report on or seek to prevent acts of torture carried out by other states abroad.
—David Miliband, July 2009[52]

The United Kingdom is a party to major human rights instruments imposing clear obligations with respect to the prevention, prosecution and eradication of torture.[53]  National law authorizes universal jurisdiction over torture.[54]

The United Kingdom has long maintained that the eradication of torture constitutes a vital dimension of its foreign policy.  Each year, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) publishes a human rights report describing its work to promote human rights, and in particular to prevent torture, worldwide.  Since 1998, when it launched an anti-torture initiative, the UK has supported regional organizations and local projects, produced a series of handbooks on the prevention of torture, and lobbied for wider ratification of the Convention against Torture. The UK was among the first countries to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, in December 2003, which creates an international system to monitor places of detention worldwide, and a parallel domestic monitoring system in each country that ratifies it.[55]  The UK has since engaged in an active campaign to encourage worldwide ratification and implementation.  In June 2009, the UK government designated sets of existing statutory bodies in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to fulfill the role of “national preventive mechanism” envisioned in the Optional Protocol.

At the same time, however, since 2001 the UK has pursued a series of counterterrorism policies that undermine the absolute prohibition on torture and ill-treatment. In order to deport terrorism suspects, the UK government has concluded agreements, called Memoranda of Understanding, with countries with known records for torture containing no-torture assurances.  It has attempted to change European human rights jurisprudence banning returns to the risk of torture and ill-treatment by introducing a balancing test between the alleged threat to national security posed by an individual and the risk of ill-treatment upon return.[56] 

British intelligence services cooperate closely with countries known for widespread use of torture, notably Pakistan, and credible allegations have surfaced over the past few years of collusion or complicity by UK agents in abuse of detainees held abroad.  The UK government staunchly defends the use of information that may have been obtained through torture or ill-treatment in the name of preventing terrorist attacks and has argued for the right to use torture evidence in legal proceedings, although it claimed not to have done so in practice.   In its legal arguments and practices, the UK government has championed a minimalist, and ultimately mistaken interpretation of the Convention against Torture to attempt to escape its obligations.  In its last review of the UK, the Committee Against Torture criticized the UK for its “limited acceptance of the applicability of the Convention to the actions of its forces abroad.”[57]

Intelligence Cooperation

Both the Security Service (commonly known as MI5), the agency for domestic intelligence gathering overseen by the Home Secretary, and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, commonly known as MI6), the agency for international intelligence gathering overseen by the Foreign Secretary, engage in counterterrorism cooperation with similar agencies around the world.  Cooperation with countries such as Pakistan and Uzbekistan raises serious concerns about the use of torture intelligence.

Eliza Manningham-Buller, then head of the UK domestic intelligence service MI5, admitted in 2005 that the UK government was reluctant to ask too many questions about the provenance of intelligence material coming from third countries. To do so, she asserted, “would be likely to damage co-operation and the future flow of intelligence from the originating service.”[58]

The consequences of this approach are illustrated by UK cooperation with Pakistan, one of the UK’s principal partners.  UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has asserted that 75 percent of the most serious terrorism plots in the UK can be traced back to Pakistan.[59]

Pakistan has a well-documented history of torture, arbitrary arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, and other human rights abuses by government security forces and intelligence agencies.  These practices are systematic and routine, whether used in ordinary criminal matters to obtain confessions or information, against political and ideological opponents or in more sensitive intelligence and counterterrorism cases. 

The military-controlled Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is notorious for routinely resorting to illegal detentions and torture to extract confessions and to punish and intimidate terrorism suspects.  Pakistani and international nongovernmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have documented the illegal detention and severe mistreatment of detainees over the course of many years.  Our report, Cruel Britannia: British  Complicity in the Torture and Ill-treatment of Terror Suspects in Pakistan, includes harrowing details about the brutal abuse of Pakistani and British citizens in ISI custody and UK complicity in that abuse.[60]

In its 2008 human rights country report on Pakistan, the US State Department described a dire situation:

“[S]ecurity forces, including intelligence services, tortured and abused individuals in custody.  Under provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, coerced confessions are admissible in antiterrorism courts...Alleged torture occasionally resulted in death or serious injury.  Human rights organizations reported methods including beating with batons and whips, burning with cigarettes, whipping soles of the feet, prolonged isolation, electric shock, denial of food or sleep, hanging upside down, and forced spreading of the legs with bar fetters.  Security force personnel reportedly raped women during interrogations.  The government rarely took action against those responsible.”[61]

The UK places a high premium on counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan.  During a November 2006 visit to the country, then Prime Minister Tony Blair praised the “tremendous co-operation” of Pakistan in the “global struggle” against Islamic extremism.[62]  The 2007 FCO human rights report states unequivocally that Pakistan is “one of our most important partners in our counter-terrorism efforts.  Pakistan and the UK work closely together at all levels, including through regular political contact and operational co-operation.”[63]  This language was only slightly tempered in the 2008 report, published in March 2009.[64] 

The FCO 2009 human rights report, published in March 2010, does little to dispel concerns about the UK’s willingness to water down its anti-torture position when it comes to fighting terrorism.  It states:

Whether sharing information [with foreign intelligence and security agencies], which might lead to the detention of people who could pose a threat to our national security, passing questions to be put to detainees, or participating in interviews of them, we do all we can to minimize, and where possible, avoid the risk that the people in question are mistreated by those holding them.  However, there are times when we cannot reduce the risk to zero…Ultimately it is for Ministers to balance the risk of mistreatment against the national security needs and make a judgment.[65] 

As such, the report outlines a policy that appears to authorize active seeking of intelligence as well as direct participation by UK security agents in interrogations of detained terrorism suspects by foreign intelligence services, even where there is a risk that those detained are being tortured.

According to FCO reports, UK counterterrorism assistance to Pakistan stresses the importance of human rights compliance based on internationally agreed human rights standards.  Senior ministers have given rhetorical support to this view. In an August 2009 statement, then Home Secretary Alan Johnson and then Foreign Secretary David Miliband said this was “not just about legal obligations.  It is about our values as a nation, and about what we do, not just what we say.”[66]  

But in reality, UK counterterrorism cooperation fundamentally undermines that effort. The complicity of UK agents in individual cases of abuse sends a damaging message to Pakistan that torture is acceptable in the context of interrogating terrorism suspects. Moreover, the regular pattern of cooperation in the absence of any serious efforts by London either to condition cooperation on humane treatment, or to make genuine enquiries about the circumstances in which detainees are interrogated, sends a clear message to the authorities in Pakistan that the UK is indifferent about the torture of terrorism suspects in its custody.

Guidelines

Extensive intelligence cooperation with countries known to torture is all the more troubling given that the guidelines governing such work are not as of yet subject to public scrutiny.  In March 2009, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a statement indicating that the UK government would publish the current guidance given to MI5 and MI6 officers on overseas interrogation once it had been “consolidated and reviewed” by the Intelligence and Security Committee (a government appointed group of parliamentarians reporting to the Prime Minister who oversee the intelligence services; not a proper parliamentary committee). [67]

Then Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee in July 2009 that contrary to earlier indications by the government, he would not allow the publication of previous versions of the guidance because doing so could “give succour to our enemies.”[68]  

The decision of the Foreign Secretary may be due to the embarrassing and possibly illegal contents of the previous instructions. Allegations published in The Guardian in June 2009 stated that written instructions issued in 2002, with the knowledge of Tony Blair, to MI5 and MI6 agents on the questioning of detainees in US custody in Afghanistan explicitly suggested turning a blind eye to torture and mistreatment.  The Guardian said the 2002 instructions, although telling agents that they should not “be seen to condone” torture nor should they “engage in any activity yourself that involves inhumane or degrading treatment of prisoners,” but also instructed agents that they were under no obligation to intervene or prevent detainees from being mistreated: “Given that they are not within our custody or control, the law does not require you to intervene to prevent this.”[69]  According to the same report in The Guardian, the current guidance instructs MI5 officers never to return to question someone who reports having been tortured.

Despite the Prime Minister’s undertaking in March 2009 the “consolidated” guidance had still not been published at this writing.  After a delay of eight months, the government provided the Intelligence and Security Committee in late November 2009 with the current guidance; the Committee completed its review and sent its conclusions to Gordon Brown in early March 2010, saying publication was a “matter for the Prime Minister.”[70] The government declined to publish the ISC report and the guidelines themselves. In February 2010 the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights had renewed its call on the government to publish the guidance that was in effect at the time of alleged torture of UK citizens abroad.[71]  The new coalition government that came into office in May 2010 has yet to make its position known.

Use of Torture Material as Intelligence

The UK government’s approach to foreign torture intelligence is in direct contradiction with its stated commitment to the prevention and eradication of torture.   It is a matter of official policy that UK authorities will accept and use intelligence coming from a third country even if they know it was obtained under torture or ill-treatment.  The UK counterterrorism strategy CONTEST II explicitly states: 

Intelligence from the security and intelligence services of other states is vital to our own security and has repeatedly enabled us to disrupt attacks planned against the UK or UK interests. In most cases the source or sources of this intelligence will not be disclosed to the UK. If it is clear that the intelligence has come from a detainee the service providing it will rarely volunteer the circumstances in which the detainee is being held.  If it is established that material has been obtained from a detainee by torture, it would not be admissible in criminal or civil legal proceedings in the UK as part of the case against an individual, regardless of where it was obtained. But... any intelligence which has been received may still be used to investigate and to stop terrorist attacks.[72]

The 2008 FCO annual report on human rights, which otherwise stresses the importance of the prevention and eradication of torture, shockingly reprises this language, stating:

All intelligence received, whatever its source, is carefully evaluated, particularly where it is clear that it has been obtained from individuals in detention.  The use of intelligence possibly derived through torture presents a very real dilemma, given our unreserved condemnation of torture and our efforts to eradicate it.  Where there is intelligence that bears on threats to life, we cannot reject it out of hand (emphasis added).[73] 

The government finds unfortunate comfort in the 2005 House of Lords Judicial Committee (commonly known as the “Law Lords”)[74] ruling in the “torture evidence” case (A and Others vs. Secretary of State for the Home Department), described in more detail below, in which the Lords erroneously concluded that international law does not prohibit executive use of torture information for operational purposes. 

Indeed, the majority of the Lords deciding the case took the view that it was lawful, justified, and indeed, in some cases, obligatory, for the executive to act on information even with the knowledge that it has been obtained through torture.  The judgment refers to the ticking bomb scenario.[75]

In reaching this conclusion, the Law Lords drew a worrisome distinction between executive and judicial use of torture material.  In the words of Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead:

The executive and the judiciary have different functions and different responsibilities. It is one thing for tainted information to be used by the executive when making operational decisions or by the police when exercising their investigatory powers, including powers of arrest...It is an altogether different matter for the judicial arm of the state to admit such information as evidence when adjudicating definitively upon the guilt or innocence of a person charged with a criminal offence. In the latter case repugnance to torture demands that proof of facts should be found in more acceptable sources than information extracted by torture.[76]

This distinction rests on a narrow, and ultimately mistaken, reading of the purpose of the exclusionary rule.  In stressing the exclusion of torture evidence in order to ensure fair trials, the Lords ignored the predominant rationale for the rule: the prevention of torture.  While the ruling in A and Others offers a strong defense of fair trial rights, it does not protect people from torture. 

Parliamentary examination of allegations of direct UK complicity in torture abroad have considered the passive receipt and use of intelligence from countries with poor records on torture. The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR), composed of members of both houses of Parliament, conducted a special review of allegations of UK complicity in torture and the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) addressed the issue in their inquiry into human rights based on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Report on Human Rights 2008. Their conclusions, both published in August 2009, have helped to shed light on what would constitute state complicity in torture. 

Both Committees discussed the claims of former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray (2002-2004) that the UK routinely and knowingly accepted information obtained under torture by Uzbek security services.  In response to Murray’s objections at the time, the chief legal advisor in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office assured him that the Convention against Torture did not prohibit the receipt of information obtained under torture.[77]

The JCHR reached a different conclusion, finding that the “systematic receipt of information known or thought likely to have been obtained from detainees subject to torture” is tantamount to complicity in torture and creates a market for torture.[78]  The FAC adopted a similar position, stating that “there is a risk that use of evidence which may have been obtained under torture on a regular basis, especially where it is not clear that protestations about mistreatment have elicited any change in behaviour by foreign intelligence services, could be construed as complicity in such behaviour.”[79]

In its response to the JCHR report, the UK government said its position was that “the receipt of intelligence should not occur where it is known or believed that receipt would amount to encouragement to the intelligence services of other States to commit torture.[80]  Yet the previous government refused to acknowledge even the possibility that its continuing and close intelligence cooperation with Pakistan, a country whose security services have a well-established record of torture, might have that effect.  

Human Rights Watch considers that uncritical use of such material breaches the UK’s duty to take positive steps to prevent torture wherever and by whomever committed. We further consider that it may amount to complicity in torture. And as a policy matter, it undoubtedly undermines UK efforts to eradicate torture around the world.

Torture Evidence and the Burden of Proof

Despite its problematic treatment of torture intelligence referred to above, A and Others definitively affirmed the prohibition on the use of torture evidence in British judicial proceedings.  The case arose because of allegations that the UK government was using torture evidence in proceedings in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), a special tribunal for appeals against Home Office deportation orders on national security grounds.  The government denied the allegations, but asserted its right to use such evidence as a matter of law.  The Lords ruled unanimously that no British court or tribunal can ever consider torture evidence even in terrorism cases, overturning a 2004 Court of Appeals decision that such evidence could be used provided that the UK had “neither procured nor connived at” the torture. 

Unfortunately, the ruling established a problematic approach to the burden of proof in cases where evidence is alleged to have been obtained under torture.  The majority (four out of the seven Lords deciding the case) took the view that SIAC was obliged to exclude evidence when it is established “by means of such diligent inquiries into the sources that it is practicable to carry out and on a balance of probabilities” that it was in fact obtained under torture.  This test in effect places the burden of proof on the appellant to put forward evidence that would satisfy the court that is more likely than not that it was obtained under torture. It sets what may be an impossible standard to meet given the difficulties in ascertaining the precise circumstances in which intelligence information was obtained. It is compounded by the fact that “sensitive” evidence is likely to be heard in closed session from which the deportee and his lawyer of choice are excluded.  

 As Lord Bingham, writing a dissenting opinion, noted, “it is inconsistent with the most rudimentary notions of fairness to blindfold a man and then impose a standard which only the sighted could hope to meet.”[81]  He and two other Lords proposed that evidence should be excluded where SIAC determined there was a “real risk” that it had been obtained under torture.[82] Such an approach correlates with the test adopted by the European Court of Human Rights when considering whether an expulsion or deportation would violate the nonrefoulement obligation.  The European Court assesses whether “substantial grounds are shown for believing that the person concerned, if expelled, faces a real risk of being subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the receiving country.”[83]   

Oversight and Accountability

The debate in the UK about counterterrorism intelligence cooperation has focused largely on allegations of UK complicity in the illegal detention and abuse of detainees in third countries.  Over the past year, numerous cases have come to light involving interrogations conducted by UK intelligence services of UK nationals or dual nationals detained and tortured in Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Allegations of UK complicity in torture have led to significant parliamentary scrutiny.  Both the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights have held hearings and published conclusions and recommendations.  The foreign minister, the home office minister, as well as the director of MI5 declined to give evidence to the JCHR, and the previous government rejected the Joint Committee’s recommendations. 

The response of the Labour government to the JCHR underscored its unwillingness to submit itself to proper parliamentary scrutiny of its counterterrorism policies. It also underscores the need for greater permanent democratic oversight of intelligence services, on the other hand. 

As noted above, oversight of the security services in the UK is carried out by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). Tasked with examining the budget, administration and policy of the MI5 and the MI6, the ISC mandate is handicapped in several ways.[84]  First, the body is not a parliamentary committee, despite being composed of members of parliament. Second, the security services and the responsible ministers (the Foreign Secretary in the case of MI6 and Home Secretary in the case of MI5) can refuse to provide to the ISC sensitive information, defined as information that could reveal sources, methods or other assistance; information about particular operations; and information supplied by another government if that government does not consent.  Third, the committee’s annual report is submitted first to the Prime Minister, and only a redacted version is shared with both houses of parliament. 

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has criticized the ISC’s lack of independence and called for the creation of a proper parliamentary select committee.[85]  The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, calling the ISC a “creature of the Government,” has also expressed concerns recently over what it considers a “deficit in parliamentary scrutiny of intelligence and security matters” in the UK.[86]

The limitations on the ISC’s mandate and the unwillingness of the government to submit itself to effective parliamentary scrutiny, underscore the need for an independent, public judicial inquiry into all cases in which there are allegations of British government complicity, participation or knowledge of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees. Two criminal investigations were initiated in 2009.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government announced within weeks of taking power in May 2010 that it would order such an inquiry.[87] 

 

[51] Oral evidence to FAC, June 16, 2009, Q92, FAC report on annual human rights report.

[52] Further submission from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ev51, FAC report on annual human rights report.

[53] ICCPR, ratified by the UK August 20, 1976; Convention against Torture, ratified by the UK January 7, 1989; ECHR March 8, 1951.

[54] Section 134 of the United Kingdom Criminal Justice Act 1988.

[55] Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, A/RES/57/199, adopted on December 18, 2002, entered into force on June 22, 2006.

[56] See Human Rights Watch, Not the Way Forward: The UK’s Dangerous Reliance on Diplomatic Assurances, October 2008, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/10/22/not-way-forward-0; Letter to British Foreign Secretary Miliband on Diplomatic Assurances with Ethiopia, September 17, 2009, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/09/17/letter-british-foreign-secretary-ethiopian-deportation-cases.  

[57] Committee Against Torture, Concluding Observations/Comments, United Kingdom, CAT/C/CR/33/3, 10 December 2004, http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CAT.C.CR.33.3.En?OpenDocument (accessed March 10, 2010), para 4(b).

[58] Witness statement of September 20, 2005, submitted in support of the case for Secretary of State for the Home Department in the case of A and others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department before the House of Lords. 

[59] “Brown: Pakistan linked to most UK terror plots,” CNN.com, December 14, 2008, http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/asiapcf/12/14/india.mumbia.suspect/index.html (accessed November 2, 2009).

[60] Human Rights Watch, Cruel Britannia: British Complicity in Torture and Ill-treatmentof Terrorism Suspects in Pakistan, November 2009,www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/11/24/cruel-britannia-0.

[61] US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2008: Pakistan,” February 25, 2009, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/sca/119139.htm (accessed September 10, 2009).

[62] UK Prime Minister’s Office, “Joint Declaration with President Pervez Musharraf (19 November 2006),” http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page10475 (accessed September 16, 2009).

[63] UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), 2007 Annual Human Rights Report, http://www.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/human-rights-report-2007 (accessed September 16, 2009), p. 16.

[64] The 2008 FCO annual report on human rights states: “Pakistan is an important partner in our efforts to counter terrorism and we work closely at all levels.”  UK FCO 2008 Annual Human Rights Report, http://www.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/pdf15/human-rights-2008 (accessed September 16, 2009), p. 154.

[65]UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Annual Report on Human Rights 2009, http://centralcontent.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/human-rights-reports/human-rights-report-2009 (accessed March 18, 2010), p. 48.

[66] “David Miliband and Alan Johnson: We firmly oppose torture – but it is impossible to eradicate all risk,” August 8, 2009, The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/5996382/David-Miliband-and-Alan-Johnson-We-firmly-oppose-torture---but-it-is-impossible-to-eradicate-all-risk.html (accessed November 10, 2009).

[67] Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Written Ministerial Statement on Detainees, March 18, 2009, reported by the Intelligence and Security Committee, www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/intelligence.aspx (accessed November 25, 2009).

[68] Foreign Secretary David Miliband, quoted in House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Human Rights Annual Report 2008, Seventh Report of Session 2008-09, July 2009, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmfaff/557/557.pdf (accessed September 22, 2009), para. 66.

[69] “Tony Blair knew of secret policy on terror interrogations,” Ian Cobain, The Guardian, June 18, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/18/tony-blair-secret-torture-policy (accessed June 23, 2009).

[70] Richard Norton-Taylor, “Government refuses to publish criticism of new guidelines on overseas torture,” The Guardian, March 18, 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/18/overseas-torture-government-refuses-publish (accessed June 17, 2010)

[71]Nina Lakhani, “MPs want to see interrogation guidance for security services,” The Independent, February 21, 2010, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/mps-want-to-see-interrogation-guidance-for -security-services-1905788.html (accessed February 24, 2010).

[72] Her Majesty’s Government, “Pursue Protect Prevent Prepare: The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism,” March 2009, http://security.homeoffice.gov.uk/news-publications/publication-search/general/HO_Contest_strategy.pdf?view=Binary (accessed November 11, 2009), p. 78.

[73] FCO, 2008 Annual report on human rights, p. 15.

[74]The House of Lords Judicial Committee was replaced in October 2009 by The Supreme Court as the highest court in the United Kingdom.

[75] In the words of Lord Nicholls, “it would be ludicrous for [the police] to disregard this information if it had been procured by torture...[I]n cases such as these the government cannot be expected to close its eyes to this information at the price of endangering the lives of its own citizens.  Moral repugnance to torture does not require this.”  A and Others vs. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] UKHL 71, paras. 68-69.

[76]A and Others, House of Lords, para. 70.

[77] Joint Committee on Human Rights, “Allegations of UK Complicity in Torture,” Twenty-third report of Session 2008-09, August 4, 2009, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200809/jtselect/jtrights/152/15202.htm (accessed November 11, 2009), para. 14 and Ev. 55-56.

[78] Ibid., paras. 4243.

[79] House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), Human Rights Annual Report 2008, Seventh Report of Session 2008-09, August 9, 2009, para. 83.

[80] The Government Reply to the Twenty-Third Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Allegations of UK Complicity in Torture, October 2009, http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm77/7714/7714.pdf (accessed February 24, 2010), p. 4

[81] Ibid, para. 59.

[82] Ibid., paras. 54-62, 80 and 98.

[83]European Court of Human Rights, N v. Finland, Application No. 38885/02, Judgment of 26 July 2005, para. 158.

[84] The ISC’s mandate includes also the Government Communications Headquarters, the agency devoted to signals intelligence and protecting government communication and information systems.

[85] JCHR, Allegations of UK Complicity in Torture, paras. 57-66.

[86] House of Commons FAC, Human Rights Annual Report 2008, para. 63.

[87] In March 2009, the Attorney General for England and Wales ordered a criminal investigation into alleged collusion by MI5 agents in the torture and ill-treatment of Binyam Mohamed.  A UK resident with Ethiopian nationality, Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and subsequently transferred first to Morocco, then to Afghanistan and finally to the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.  He claims that he was abused in all four places of detention.  British intelligence officers interrogated Mohamed while he was detained in Pakistan, and later gave the CIA information about Mohamed as well as questions to ask him. Mohamed was released from Guantanamo and returned to the UK in early 2009.  In September 2009, then Foreign Secretary David Miliband revealed that the MI6 had referred one of its officers to the Attorney General in relation to allegations of complicity in the torture of a non-British national.  No further details of the case have been disclosed.