UK official criticizes High Court for ordering release of torture evidence

[JURIST] UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [official website] Director of Defense and Strategic Threats, Simon Manley, criticized [Guardian report] Britain's High Court Thursday for jeopardizing national security by ordering the public release of evidence [judgment, PDF] of alleged torture of terrorism suspects. Manley accused the British judges of eroding trust between UK and foreign security officials, which he said would limit the willingness of foreign intelligence agencies to disclose sensitive information to UK authorities. The statement is a response to an October order [JURIST report] to disclose previously redacted portions of a judgment in the case of former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST archive] detainee Binyam Mohamed [ACLU profile, JURIST archive].

Manley's statement is the latest criticism against the British high courts for moving to release security information. Last month, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband [official profile] expressed concern [JURIST report] that the release of alleged torture information would pose a risk to the national security of the UK and its relations with the US. Miliband has denied [JURIST report] allegations published [text] by the UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights [official website], saying that the UK does not participate in or condone the use of torture. Mohamed claims [JURIST report] that he was tortured by Pakistani agents and interrogated by FBI and MI5 agents complicit in his abuse. He was transferred to Morocco, allegedly part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] program, where he claims that British agents supplied his torturers with questions.

 

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