For Immediate Release
UK-Iraq Abuse Inquiry Refuses to Consider CIA Torture Report
LONDON - The body tasked with investigating British abuses in Iraq has said it will not request as evidence the US Senate’s report on CIA torture, in the case of two Pakistani men tortured and rendered by the UK and the US.
Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatullah Ali were captured and tortured by British operatives in Iraq in 2004, before being rendered to the US-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan. They were held incommunicado for a further decade before their release to Pakistan in 2014.
The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), which is investigating the men's allegations, has refused a request from human rights organization Reprieve that it obtain a full copy of the US Senate’s report on CIA torture. Mr Rahmatullah and Mr Ali were rendered on a CIA flight, and it is believed that the full report would contain evidence of the two men’s physical condition after UK troops handed them over to US forces, as well as the timing of their rendition; information that could corroborate the men's claims.
IHAT has claimed that its decision not to request a copy of the CIA report is a private ‘operational’ matter. Reprieve, which is assisting the two men, has initiated a challenge to that decision, amid concerns that the body is failing properly to investigate the men’s ordeal.
The controversial executive summary of the CIA torture report, published late last year, revealed wide-ranging torture and rendition activities by the US and its allies in the initial years of the 'War on Terror'.
Kat Craig, legal director at Reprieve, which is assisting the two men, said: “Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatullah Ali suffered a horrific, 10-year ordeal of torture and detention at the hands of the UK and US. These men deserve answers and justice – and the CIA torture report is a crucial piece of evidence in that effort. IHAT’s refusal to request a copy of that report is therefore inexplicable. Who should the victims of torture and rendition look to for accountability, if they are let down like this at every turn?”
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.