Accountability of Intelligence Services Worse, Despite MI5 Chief’s Claims

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8166 / donald.campbell@reprieve.org.uk

Accountability of Intelligence Services Worse, Despite MI5 Chief’s Claims

LONDON - Responding to the head of MI5’s claims in a speech last night that it is “a highly accountable Service,” and that this accountability has been “strengthened further by the passage of the Justice and Security [or ‘Secret Courts’] Act,” Clare Algar, Executive Director of legal charity Reprieve said:
 
“It is hard to see how what we have learned over recent months or years shows that we have proper accountability for our security services – if anything, the situation is getting worse.
 
“The Justice and Security Act, passed this year, rolled out secret courts across the civil justice system which will help the Government cover up wrongdoing and avoid accountability.  Ministers are already planning to seek to use them in a case concerning UK involvement in the kidnap and ‘rendition’ of Gaddafi’s opponents – along with their wives and young children – back to the dictator’s prisons in 2004.
 
“The Intelligence and Security Committee – which it is worth remembering missed UK complicity in rendition altogether – continues to spend more time defending the security services in the media than actually holding them to account.
 
“The Government needs to stop eroding the freedom and independence of our courts, or this lack of accountability will not change.”

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Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.

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