Closure of UK Detainee Inquiry an opportunity for real accountability

News
January 18, 2012

Closure of UK Detainee Inquiry an opportunity for real accountability

Today’s announcement that the UK government has decided to conclude the work of the Detainee Inquiry provides an opportunity to address the failures of the current system and establish an inquiry that ensures real accountability, Amnesty International said today.

"The Detainee Inquiry was never fit for purpose, and fell short of the UK's international human rights obligations to fully and independently investigate allegations of UK involvement in torture and ill-treatment," Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director, said.

"We hope that the Government seizes the opportunity presented by the mounting allegations of UK involvement, the ongoing criminal investigations into specific cases, and the report of the Detainee Inquiry's work to date, to establish a human rights compliant inquiry that ensures real accountability.

“It is time for the UK government to come clean about the past, and to be seen to do so."

On 6 July 2010, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced to Parliament that there would be an independent inquiry into allegations of UK involvement in torture and other human rights violations with respect to individuals detained abroad in the context of counter-terrorism operations.

In the period that followed the Inquiry's establishment, Amnesty International along with several other NGOs, repeatedly raised concerns about the inquiry's failure to discharge the UK's international legal obligation to ensure a full, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment.