3 July 2014
Human rights groups: more planes than admitted used for extraordinary renditions, raising possibility that British overseas territory is used as secret US prison
Human rights groups have revealed previously undisclosed evidence that more planes than had been admitted were involved in the extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects around the world. This has raised new questions about the alleged use of the British overseas territory Diego Garcia as a United States secret prison. According to human rights groups, the atoll in the Indian Ocean that is leased to the US has been used to detain suspects in conflict with basic human rights.
The UK has consistently denied the allegations, on the basis of assurances from the US. However, it has now emerged that these assurances were based on an analysis of only 20 per cent of the planes known to have been involved in the rendition process. The human rights group Reprieve says that, as a result of a fresh analysis, it now has significant proof that possibly as many as several dozen planes were used for the purpose of extraordinary renditions, increasing the chance that some visited Diego Garcia.
‘We know the government holds crucial data on flights passing through Diego Garcia which it has so far refused to release’, stated Crofton Black of Reprieve. ‘Meanwhile, there are growing suspicions that the UK may be seeking to redact embarrassing information from the US Senate’s report on renditions. Unless ministers come clean on these key issues, neither parliament nor the public will be able to have any confidence in the bland reassurances the government has provided concerning UK torture complicity.’