MPs are to undertake the most far-reaching inquiry into Britain’s role in human rights abuses in decades as allegations mount to suggest that officials repeatedly breached international law.
The Commons foreign affairs select committee will examine Britain’s involvement in the detention, transfer and interrogation of prisoners held during the so-called war on terror. Among the matters to be examined later in the year are allegations, reported in the Guardian over the past two years, that British intelligence officers colluded in the torture of Britons held in Pakistan and Egypt.
David Miliband, the foreign secretary, will give evidence to the inquiry although he and Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, refused, earlier this year, to appear before parliament’s joint committee on human rights, which is looking into reports that British officials were complicit in torture.
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The foreign affairs committee will investigate:
• The case of Binyam Mohamed.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
• Allegations of British complicity in torture.
• The practice of extraordinary rendition, including the possible use of the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia.
• The transfer of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq.
• Allegations of sexual abuse at the British embassy in Baghdad.
• The oversight of private security companies employed by the Foreign Office.