Freedom from Torture - This apology must be the beginning not the end of Britain’s coming clean on torture complicity

This apology must be the beginning not the end of Britain’s coming clean on torture complicity

Freedom from Torture welcomes the apology given to Abdel Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar by Attorney General Jeremy Wright in the House of Commons.

Sonya Sceats, Chief Executive of Freedom from Torture, said:

We welcome the public apology from the Attorney-General but it must be the beginning not the end of a proper accounting for the sinister pattern of UK complicity in the years after the 9/11 attacks.

Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar are an inspiration to torture survivors everywhere for their courage and principled pursuit of justice but they should never have had to fight this hard for an official apology and compensation.

There can be no defence of torture and the wider lessons from such shameful lapses must be learned to guard against a repetition. It is vital that today's announcement is followed by a comprehensive truth-telling in line with the UK's unbreakable legal obligations to investigate torture and hold those responsible to account.

It is even more urgent that the government goes ahead with the judge-led inquiry into UK involvement with torture as promised by David Cameron in 2010.

Read Sonya Sceats comment pieces in The Guardian:

British complicity in torture still needs to be smoked out for the victims’ sake

Gina Haspel’s CIA appointment will delight torturers around the globe

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