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Torture’ flights: pressure for independent inquiry

PUBLISHED: 16:53 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 15:37 16 August 2010

SENIOR MPs have called for an independent inquiry into the UK s role in torturing suspected terrorists. The Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report on Tuesday urging the government to reveal details of instructions given to MI5 and MI6. Last

SENIOR MPs have called for an independent inquiry into the UK's role in torturing suspected terrorists.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights published a report on Tuesday urging the government to reveal details of instructions given to MI5 and MI6. Last week, the Times reported legal charity Reprieve's calls to release information about "suspicious" CIA-associated flights which landed at Biggin Hill airport in 2002 to ascertain whether they were used to "render" suspects abroad to face torture.

It followed on from developments in the legal cases of two men, Binyam Mohamed and Iqbal Madni, who were transported to secret foreign jails where they allegedly suffered horrific abuse. Mr Mohamed's lawyer and director of Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith, accused ministers of "using secrecy and deliberate evasion to place themselves above the law" in refusing to appear before a parliamentary committee to answer torture allegations.

MP for Orpington, John Horam, said he has spoken directly with Reprieve and would be producing a further report in his role as a Foreign Affairs Select Committee member.

Asked whether he believed Biggin Hill had been used to transport torture victims, he said: "I just don't know. It is supposition." He did admit the government seemed to be complicit in some aspects of torture, adding: "There is evidence of something. That is the case, but how substantial is yet to be seen.

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