UN Convention against Torture

House of Lords written question – answered on 28th July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Avebury Lord Avebury Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken or propose to take to remedy the shortcomings identified by the United Nations Committee Against Torture in the United Kingdom’s compliance with the United Nations Convention against Torture in May 2013 in relation to (1) the alleged torture of Tamil returnees from the United Kingdom, (2) the lack of accountability in respect of allegations of United Kingdom complicity in torture abroad, (3) the detention of torture survivors in the Detained Fast Track System, (4) the lowering of the evidential threshold before a suspected torture survivor is deemed unsuitable for the Detained Fast Track System, (5) the application of Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules, (6) the exemption in section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 which provides a defence of lawful authority, justification or excuse to a charge of official intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, and (7) its concerns about section 5 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 which provides immunity to intelligence officers once a warrant has been signed by a government minister giving them lawful authority.

Photo of Lord Faulks Lord Faulks The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The UK Government does not engage in torture, or solicit, encourage or condone its use, and works closely with its international partners to prevent torture occurring anywhere in the world. As requested by the Committee Against Torture, the UK Government submitted, on 31 May 2014, follow up information (available at http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/human- rights/cat-300520140-uk-follow-up-information.pdf) on issues raised by the Committee during the examination of the UK in May 2013. At the Committee’s request, the UK Government will provide its 6th periodic report under the Convention Against Torture, addressing the Committee’s list of issues, in May 2017.

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