UK suppresses documents on Gitmo ‘torture collusion’
The British government is withholding key documents which could shed light on allegations of UK’s involvement in the torture of detainees in Guantanamo prison, according to a new report.
A number of files have been recently found which reveal confidential exchanges between top former US and UK authorities on the torture and rendition of detainees.
Based on a lawsuit by a British parliamentary group, the US administration is obliged to make public documents which relate to Britain’s involvement.
Former Guantanamo detainees have previously said British officials have either been present at, or submitted questions for, “extreme” interrogation by US officials, according to the Independent.
The documents indicate that former UK prime minister Tony Blair and former US president George W. Bush had been in consultation about the treatment of detainees at the US-run prison in Cuba.
Now, the US State Department is said to have reported that all related documents have been withheld from public disclosure.
At least 12 documents, found in the US State Department’s search, relate to interventions by British politicians and officials over the treatment of detainees and torture techniques.
The State Department has reported, “After reviewing the documents, the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office requested that all 12 documents be withheld in full from public disclosure.”
Guantanamo was established by former president Bush in 2002 as a prison for alleged foreign terrorism suspects following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.
As many as 775 suspects are said to have been brought to the facility ever since its establishment.
US President Barack Obama had promised to close the Guantanamo Bay prison in his 2008 election campaign, citing its damage to America’s reputation abroad. However, he has so far failed to deliver on that pledge due to stiff opposition from Congress.
A US Senate report in December 2014 revealed that the CIA used a wide array of torture as part of its interrogation methods against Guantanamo prisoners.