Concern over rise in requests for UK to share intelligence regardless of torture dangers

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Concern over rise in requests for UK to share intelligence regardless of torture dangers

The variety of requests for UK ministerial approval of intelligence-sharing the place there was an actual danger of torture, illegal killing or extraordinary rendition has greater than doubled in a 12 months.

The investigatory powers commissioner’s report outlining the rise comes after a parliamentary debate on Monday by which MPs from throughout the political divide questioned the adequacy of the UK’s coverage on torture below the Fulford rules.

The human rights group Reprieve mentioned that the rise to eight circumstances in 2022 – from three in 2021 – by which approval was looked for intelligence-sharing with abroad authorities the place there was an actual danger of torture, illegal killing or extraordinary rendition was regarding.

Dan Dolan, Reprieve’s director of coverage and advocacy, mentioned: “These ministerial referrals signify actual folks susceptible to being tortured – one thing our authorities professes to seek out abhorrent.

“When the variety of requests is doubling, and officers have admitted 95% get signed off, it’s clear the system is damaged. The Fulford rules should not match for function and it’s good to see MPs calling for his or her reform.”

The 95% determine refers back to the complete spectrum of circumstances by which authorisation is sought – 104 in complete in 2022, 17 of which had an actual danger of merciless, inhumane or degrading therapy (CIDT) – so it’s unknown whether or not approval was given in particular person circumstances.

UK authorities coverage is that it “doesn’t take part in, solicit, encourage or condone” any of those actions however critics say that the ministerial approval system contradicts this assertion.

Monday’s Commons debate involved the investigatory powers (modification) invoice and included dialogue of a brand new clause three tabled by the Conservative MP David Davis, which might create an absolute prohibition on handing over info to an abroad authority the place there was a chance of torture or CIDT.

He informed MPs: “I’m afraid that, annually, we’re seeing extra circumstances by which the UK seeks to share intelligence regardless of an actual danger of torture.

“There is no such thing as a doubt that our intelligence businesses do a troublesome and typically harmful job, however getting combined up in torture does nothing to maintain us protected. It undermines the civilised values that we stand for.”

Labour’s Dan Jarvis, the shadow safety minister, mentioned clause three “raises necessary problems with accountability when sharing intelligence with overseas governments that might end in torture, not least in relation to the parameters of the decision-making course of by overseas secretaries … [and] raises necessary questions concerning the sufficiency of the Fulford rules”.

A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “The UK authorities doesn’t take part in, solicit, encourage, or condone the usage of torture or of merciless, inhumane or degrading therapy for any function.

“Our precedence is the security and safety of the UK and the individuals who dwell right here. We welcome IPCO’s [Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office’s] important oversight function, making certain the proportionate use of investigatory powers by our intelligence and safety businesses and companions.”


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