Amidst growing concern about CIA “extraordinary rendition” flights which carry suspects to countries where they may face torture, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today that countries must choose for themselves whether they will join the United States in its war on terror.
Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti said: “It’s time we told the USA
that they are either with us or against us in the defense of democratic
values including our abhorrence of torture. Secretary Rice’s ambiguous
comments about torture are disturbing in light of the USA’s cover-up of
abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. There is no compromise between fighting
terrorism and condemning torture because torture will never make us
Last week, Liberty called on Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and
the Police Chief Constables of Bedfordshire, Dorset, Essex, Hampshire,
the Metropolitan Police, the Ministry of Defence Police, Suffolk,
Sussex, Thames Valley, and West Midlands to seek assurances by 14
December 2005 from the USA that it is not using UK airports to transport
suspects to countries that torture.
Liberty’s call to action against
extraordinary rendition marks the launch of its No torture, No
which seeks to make the UK government honour its
positive obligation to stop torture and ill-treatment.
Office on 0207 378 3656 or 0797 3 831 128
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Andrew Tyrie
MP today launches the All Parliamentary Subject Group on extraordinary
rendition which will investigate claims that CIA planes have been
touching down at British airfields carrying terrorist suspects.
Guardian revealed on 12 September 2005 that airports in Biggin Hill,
Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brize Norton, Farnborough, Gatwick, Heathrow,
Luton, RAF Mildenhall, Northolt, and Stansted have allowed CIA or
CIA-chartered jets to land temporarily. These aircraft had flown into
the UK approximately 210 times since 2001.