Cameron’s secret courts claims hide Government’s aim to avoid embarrassment

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s claims – in defence of the Justice and Security (“Secret Courts”) Bill – that the Government is currently having to pay compensation because it cannot fight cases in court and sometimes has to settle with some “unsavoury people,” Reprieve’s Executive Director, Clare Algar said:

“The reality is that the Government has settled cases because there has been clear evidence they were mixed up in serious human rights abuses. 

“The British High Court has found that our Government’s involvement in the torture of one of this country’s residents went ‘far beyond that of a bystander or witness.’  Documents found in Tripoli show that MI6 worked to render the wives and young children of Gaddafi opponents back to Libya, then run by the Colonel’s brutal regime. 

“The origins of this Bill clearly lie in a desire to avoid government embarrassment.  If he really does have nothing to hide, why won’t the Prime Minister list which cases it is that require such a dangerous departure from the proud British tradition of fair and equal justice?”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 7791 755 415 / donald.campbell [at] reprieve.org.uk

2. The Prime Minister’s comments were made at the Liaison Committee, in response to a question from Andrew Tyrie MP: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2012/dec/11/gay-marriage-commons-statement-live

3. During the Binyam Mohamed case, the High Court found that he had suffered torture, and that the UK’s involvement in this went “far beyond that of a bystander or witness…”