London – Following a demand by Ken Clarke calling for a full investigation into British complicity in torture, CAGE insists it is imperative that any such enquiry be transparent and objective. It must also end with full accountability under the rule of law for all perpetrators.
A previous inquiry in 2012, the Gibson Enquiry, was abandoned after participating NGOs, including CAGE, as well as several leading legal bodies, cited a lack of transparency and judicial prejudice, and withdrew from the process.
Moazzam Begg, outreach director for CAGE, said:
“In 2010, I met with Ken Clarke – alongside several other British former Guantanamo prisoners. We’d just taken the government to court for complicity in our false imprisonment and torture and won a settlement. But, we also sought an apology. Clarke told us that that would be a matter for the Gibson Inquiry. When the Gibson Inquiry was shelved, the apology we’d sought disappeared. Similarly, the criminal investigation of MI5 that we had given evidence to ended to no action.”
“In 2012, I travelled to Libya with lawyers to introduce them to Sami al-Saadi and Abdel Hakim Belhadj so that they could get justice. Al-Saadi settled out of court but Belhaj – and his wife, Fatima Boudhcar – continued. That process ended with Theresa May’s apology last month.”
“Any inquiry of this nature must feature the voices of survivors at its core, so that the process can result in healing and accountability. In addition to Belhadj, Boudhcar and Al-Saadi, the government needs to apologise for what it did to its own citizens, since their actions echo painfully despite taking place many years ago.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)