Former UK ambassador leaks confidential torture documents

[JURIST] Defying a gag order by the UK Foreign Office [official website], former British ambassador [BBC report] to Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] Craig S. Murray has posted two documents to his weblog suggesting that despite government denials, the British government knowingly received intelligence information obtained by torture. The first document is a collection of telegrams sent from Murray between 2002 and 2004 in which he raised concerns that the information from Uzbek security forces was being extracted through torture. The second document is a letter from a Foreign Office legal advisor that cites to the UN Convention Against Torture [text] but opines that receiving and possessing information obtained by torture is not illegal, although admitting it as evidence would likely not be permitted. Murray, who was forced out of his position last year after becoming an outspoken critic of Uzebekistan's human rights record, was denied clearance to refer to the documents in a book. He has urged other bloggers to post the materials on their own sites. Earlier this month the UK House of Lords ruled that the UK courts were indeed prohibited from using evidence possibly obtained through torture [JURIST report; Murray op-ed on the case], and that the government had to indicate where evidence against suspected terrorists had been obtained. The Independent has more.

 

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