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US regime will deliberately endanger innocent British civilians if torture evidence is revealed, says UK government

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U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a press conference in Washington.

The US government has made an explicit threat that it is prepared to put ordinary British lives at risk in order to prevent a British Court from publishing its findings relating to details of the US torture of a British resident, according to Foreign Secretary David Miliband,

Clive Stafford Smith, Director of Reprieve has today written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to verify the Administration’s position.

“I write as an American citizen to seek confirmation of an extraordinary claim made by the British Government, regarding your stated willingness to put innocent British lives at risk," he writes

"I feel sure that this must be a mistake, but the media has been very specific in its quotations, and the British judges have framed your view as being one that is callous towards innocent people in the UK. This is the question I put to you today, and I would be grateful for a plain answer:

"Given that the UK is obliged under the Convention Against Torture to investigate and reveal evidence of torture, and given that it is a criminal offence under Section 52 of the International Criminal Courts Act to cover up evidence of torture, is it really your position, and the position of the Obama Administration, that you will put innocent British lives at risk by cutting intelligence sharing, if an independent court in the UK publishes seven paragraphs of its own judgment which contain nothing that implicates security concerns, but rather contains only its findings of fact relating to crimes committed by US personnel?

“I appreciate your assistance in this matter, which is of grave importance to the British Court, to the people of the United Kingdom, and to Anglo-American relations.”

At the High Court in London on 29th July, Lord Justice Thomas declared that the US view did not reflect any acceptable legal principle, but rather reflected “the exercise of naked political power” – in the vernacular, of ‘might-makes-right’.

Clare Algar, the Executive Director of Reprieve said that if the Obama Administration is "levelling threats at innocent British citizens, it is time to get seriously worried about the so-called ‘special relationship.’"

“The United States must understand the importance of an independent judiciary, and that one democracy cannot tell another how to administer its legal system. We sincerely hope Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s fears are misplaced or, if not, that Secretary Clinton will see sense and withdraw this shocking threat to ordinary British people,” she added.

Source: firmmagazine.com

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