For Immediate Release
Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8160 (UK) or +1 917 855 8064 (US)
Did Theresa May lobby Senate Committee on CIA report?
LONDON - Home Secretary Theresa May was one of several UK officials who met with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) ahead of the publication of its report on torture by the US and its allies, it’s emerged.
Documents unearthed by legal charity Reprieve reveal that from 2009, 24 meetings were held between UK Government officials or ministers and SSCI members. The Home Secretary met with the Committee in 2011 “in her capacity as Home Secretary”, while other UK Government visitors to the SSCI included former and current UK ambassadors to the US.
The SSCI began its formal inquiry into the CIA torture programme in 2009, and the timing of the UK meetings with the Committee have raised concerns that the UK may have attempted to influence the contents of the report.
Yesterday, Downing Street admitted that redactions were requested by the UK on “national security grounds” – an apparent shift from a claim made earlier this week, when the Prime Minister's spokesman said there had been no such UK requests made.
Commenting, Head of Communications Donald Campbell said: “We already know that the UK was complicit in the CIA’s shameful rendition and torture programme. What we don’t know is why there is no mention of that in the public version of the Senate’s torture report. There are important questions which members of the current and the previous governments must answer: did they lobby to ensure embarrassing information about the UK was ‘redacted’ or removed from the report?"
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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.