Constitutional Law

UK Court-Ordered Release of CIA Docs Summary Supports Torture Claim

An appeals court in the United Kingdom has required the British government to release an unredacted version of a seven-paragraph document summarizing U.S. intelligence information about the 2002 interrogation of a terrorism suspect subsequently detained by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay and released last year.

The release of the summary of 42 CIA documents concerning the treatment of British resident Binyam Mohamed has created a firestorm of criticism in the United Kingdom over British involvement in the apparent violation of his rights, reports the Guardian.

The complete summary reveals that Mohamed’s interrogation, if administered by British officials, would have been considered torture under that country’s law at the time, explains the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, the appellate panel, consisting of the country’s three most senior judges, has agreed to hold a special hearing to decide whether it should reword its ruling in the case, the BBC reports. The panel revised a draft version of its opinion to soften criticism of the British government, at the urging of the government’s top lawyer.

An earlier post details Mohamed’s claimed torture in Morocco in 2002 and 2003, with the alleged involvement of CIA agents.

Additional coverage: (2009): “British Court Blames US Threat for Decision to Keep Torture Evidence Secret” (2008): “DOJ Ordered to Turn Over Papers on Gitmo Detainee’s Treatment”

Guardian: “Binyam Mohamed court ruling shatters spies’ culture of secrecy”

Washington Post: “Britain reveals once-secret U.S. data about Guantanamo detainee”

Washingon Wire (Wall Street Journal): “U.K. Court Calls U.S. Interrogation Tactics ‘Cruel, Inhuman, Degrading’”

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