UK accuse US of grave rights violations
LONDON - The United States has committed "grave violations of human rights" against prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq, the Foreign Affairs Committee of Britain's parliament said in a report on Friday.
The report also called on the British government to make clear whether it uses intelligence passed on by other countries that may have been gathered by torturing suspects.
"We recommend that the government make it clear to the United States administration, both in public and private, that such treatment of detainees is unacceptable."
The committee said it was "surprising and unsettling" that the government had twice failed to answer whether London receives information extracted under torture by a third country.
"The arguments for evaluating information which purports to give details of, for example, an impending terrorist attack, whatever its provenance, are compelling," the committee said.
"We further conclude, however, that to operate a general policy of use of information extracted under torture would be to condone and even to encourage torture by repressive states."
The treatment of prisoners at the U.S. military camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the rising threat from terrorism has sparked a heated debate in Britain about torture.
Human rights groups have criticized conditions at the camp and interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation or subjecting detainees to extreme temperatures, some of which they say are akin to torture.
The committee also called for better training of British troops on the treatment of prisoners to prevent further abuses of inmates like those seen in Iraq since the conflict.
Four British soldiers were convicted of abuse last month and other cases are ongoing, although there has been no suggestion that Britain authorized the sort of aggressive interrogations used by the Americans.