UK human rights watchdog demands torture probe

February 20, 2010 13:35

LONDON — The British government's human rights watchdog has asked the justice secretary to conduct an urgent independent investigation into allegations that the government was complicit in the torture of Britons held abroad.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said Saturday that it had written to Justice Minister Jack Straw to complain that the government has not done enough to assure the public that the claims against British spy agencies are unfounded.

It said that there are more than 20 allegations — including allegations reported by the United Nations — of British complicity in torture during interrogations abroad.

Britain's MI5 has been heavily criticized for ignoring human rights issues after it was revealed that it knew about terrorism suspect Binyam Mohamed's torture in US custody.

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