UK's Involvement in Rendition and Torture August 2016

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the UK's involvement in rendition and torture.

As you may be aware, in 2012 the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Metropolitan Police launched Operation Lydd. This was an investigation into complaints of ill treatment against detainees, in particular the cases of two Libyan families - the al Saadi and Belhaj familes. On 9 June 2016 the CPS concluded there was insufficient evidence to bring any criminal charges.

I am aware that Reprieve has sought to highlight that the CPS findings have 'produced the first-ever official confirmation that British officials had participated in the rendition programme'. On 29 June 2016 the House of Commons considered the UK's involvement in rendition during an Adjournment debate. I appreciate the interest in this debate, given the CPS' recent announcement.

You may also be aware that the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has committed to examining this case as part of their on-going inquiry in relation to detainee treatment and rendition. I appreciate that organisations such as Reprieve feel there are questions surrounding rendition that remain unanswered. It is therefore important that the ISC are given the time to fully carry out their inquiry and that the outcome is then carefully considered.

The UK Government has stated that it does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture for any purpose. Furthermore, the Government has stated that it opposes any means of depriving any individual of their liberty that amounts to putting them outside the protection of that law.

Britain's voice in the world is, in part, a reflection of the moral leadership we demonstrate on human rights. It is therefore important that Britain's historic respect for the rule of law is maintained and that the Foreign Office continues to make human rights a priority, when problems like terrorism, climate change and economic inequality require cooperation between nations.

I can assure you that I will continue to follow this issue closely.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.