Tony Blair was aware of the existence of a secret interrogation policy which effectively led to British citizens, and others, being tortured during counter-terrorism investigations, the Guardian can reveal.
The policy, devised in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, offered guidance to MI5 and MI6 officers questioning detainees in Afghanistan whom they knew were being mistreated by the US military.
British intelligence officers were given written instructions that they could not “be seen to condone” torture and that they must not “engage in any activity yourself that involves inhumane or degrading treatment of prisoners”.
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But they were also told they were not under any obligation to intervene to prevent detainees from being mistreated.
“Given that they are not within our custody or control, the law does not require you to intervene to prevent this,” the policy said.