CRUEL BRITANNIA:The Guardian Exposes The Top Secret British Torture Policy In Place Since 2002


THE GUARDIAN: A top-secret document revealing how MI6 and MI5 officers were allowed to extract information from prisoners being illegally tortured overseas has been seen by the Guardian. The interrogation policy – details of which are believed to be too sensitive to be publicly released at the government inquiry into the UK’s role in torture and rendition – instructed senior intelligence officers to weigh the importance of the information being sought against the amount of pain they expected a prisoner to suffer. It was operated by the British government for almost a decade. […] The document seen by the Guardian shows how the secret interrogation policy operated until it was rewritten on the orders of the coalition government last July. It also:

Acknowledged that MI5 and MI6 officers could be in breach of both UK and international law by asking for information from prisoners held by overseas agencies known to use torture.

Explained the need to obtain political cover for any potentially criminal act by consulting ministers beforehand.

The secret interrogation policy was first passed to MI5 and MI6 officers in Afghanistan in January 2002 to enable them to continue questioning prisoners whom they knew were being mistreated by members of the US military. MORE

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