US and UK: Partners in Rendition and Torture

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US and UK: Partners in Rendition and Torture

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

International law is clear and unequivocal. The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment prohibits the practice.

Fourth Geneva’s Article 27 states: Protected persons “shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof…”

Articles 31 and 32 say: “No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons.” 

“This prohibition applies to torture (and) to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents.”

Fourth Geneva’s Article 147 calls “willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment…grave breaches” under the Convention. They’re considered “war crimes.”

Common Article Three of the four Geneva Conventions prohibits all forms of “violence to life and person,” including cruel abuse, torture, and all types of humiliating and degrading treatment.

Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

US statute laws ban torture and ill-treatment, including Code’s Title 18, Chapter 113C (2340) and 1996 War Crimes Act.

Laws prohibiting torture are jus cogens, meaning they’re higher, compelling laws. No nation may pass legislation permitting the practice. No courts may justify it. Jus cogens prohibitions allow no immunity from criminal liability.

There’s no ambiguity about all of the above laws. Torture is flagrantly illegal at all times, under all circumstances, with no allowed exceptions.

Two new UK parliamentary reports disclosed damning information not previously released about UK complicity with US kidnappings, renditions, and torture of alleged terrorist suspects post-9/11 – most often innocent victims, guilty of nothing.

Make no mistake. Torture and abuse continue despite claims otherwise. Washington still operates unknown numbers of global black sites.

Britain is complicit in its war OF terror, not on it, supporting the scourge of ISIS and other jihadist groups they pretend to oppose.

The UK-based Reprieve human rights group “provide(s) free legal and investigative support to some of the world’s most vulnerable people: those facing execution, and those victimized by states’ abusive counter-terror policies – rendition, torture, extrajudicial imprisonment and extrajudicial killing.”

It said newly released UK parliamentary reports “only scratched the surface.” A scant six minutes of oral testimony per case of rendition and torture was heard by Britain’s Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC).

It revealed deplorably “inexcusable” UK complicity with flagrant US lawbreaking. ISC chairman Dominic Grieve exposed damning information despite operating under strict restrictions – admitting he was forced to “draw a line” after Britain’s government refused access to key witnesses.

According to Reprieve, Theresa May showed contempt for the committee’s work, findings and recommendations.

The organization called for “an independent judge-led inquiry which can explore the dark corners the ISC could not reach.” Some of the worst of what’s gone on remains hidden from public view.

The human rights group explained “(f)ive things…about the secret rewrite of Britain’s torture rules:”

1. “Britain’s torture rules allowed torture” despite the illegality of the practice and knowledge it produces no credible information.

2. UK torture rules “were rewritten and made public (only) after a series of scandals were exposed” – revealing British intelligence complicity in torture abroad.

3. Reprieve and other human rights groups have long called for establishing and enforcing proper safeguards to prevent use of torture – in vain.

4. UK “government is ignoring recommendations (on torture) from its” former Intelligence Services Commissioner Mark Waller.

5. “A secret review of activity the government has previously tried to cover up is doomed to failure.”

Internal oversight and investigations failed to stop torture. It continues secretly – Britain still complicit with America in the flagrantly illegal practice.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.