U.K. Policy On Torture Disclosed
August 4, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
LONDON, Aug. 4 (UPI) — Britain’s policy on torture involves weighing the importance of information sought against the amount of pain inflicted, heretofore secret documents indicate.
The interrogation policy documents, first used by British MI5 and MI6 officers in Afghanistan in 2002, were made public Thursday, The Guardian reported.
Overseas security and intelligence services were instructed not to carry out an action that could be perceived as torture unless they received proper authority to do so.
“When, not withstanding any caveats or prior assurances, there is still considered to be a real possibility of mistreatment and therefore there is considered to be a risk that the agencies’ actions could be judged to be unlawful, the actions may not be taken without authority at a senior level. In some cases, ministers may need to be consulted,” the document said.
When deciding whether to give permission, management should weigh “the operational imperative for the proposed action, such as if the action involves passing or obtaining life-saving intelligence” against “the level of mistreatment anticipated and how likely those consequences are,” the documents indicated.