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British MPs Win Appeal on Renditions

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TEHRAN, April 19 (ICANA) – The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) was forced on Monday to reveal information about its involvement in extraordinary renditions, according to a court ruling.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:44:52 PM
British MPs Win Appeal on Renditions

A number of Freedom of Information requests by the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary renditions has originally been dismissed by the MoD on national security and cost concerns.

But, the Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber has ordered the government to expose requested information to members of parliament (MPs).

The Appeals Chamber also ruled that it was wrong for the MoD to withhold information on the claimed grounds.

"This is another step towards establishing the full extent and limits of UK involvement in rendition”, said Group chairman Andrew Tyrie MP.

"For closure on rendition we need disclosure. One way or another, the truth will eventually come out. Unless the MoD decides to appeal, this judgment will add to the drip of information on rendition in recent years", added Andrew Tyrie.

The parliamentary group made a series of such requests to the MoD in 2008 but it received very little information by way of response.

The committee wanted, in particular, to know that what "diplomatic assurances" were in place between Britain, Iraq, Afghanistan and the US on the handling of detainees.

The MoD had claimed that to do so would risk damaging international relations and would cost too much.

But the tribunal dismissed these arguments, saying that any risk was "strongly outweighed by the public interest in the disclosure of the information."

The Secretary of State for Defense announced in 2008 a review of detention practices in both Iraq and Afghanistan, after allegations Britain had handed detainees to the US who were then tortured and rendered abroad.

The MoD originally provided the parliamentary group with less than a quarter of the document, which claimed that allegations of British complicity in rendition were "baseless."

The MoD has now been ordered to provide further extracts of the review.

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