Sealing the Special Relationship

Desperate to try and understand how the UK/US relationship has changed with our new PM, todays papers pour over yesterdays meeting at Camp David, amid much hilarity about the leaders spin in Golf Cart One. The Telegraph employs a body language expert to reveal that Mr Bush looked browbeaten as though he had just been given a hard time during his private meeting with the new British premier.

I doubt that Gordon Brown had been beating the Bush brow but perhaps he should have been. Mr Brown quoted Churchill on the joint inheritance of liberty but, as the Reverend Roy Jenkins, Baptist Minister from Cardiff, commented on this mornings Today programme, it is hard to square that with the existence of Guantanamo Bay.

Of course, it is precisely because of the much talked-about Special Relationship that Guantanamo Bay has been so little criticised by the UK Government and to address that properly now would be a much more significant change than body language or dress.

But back home the deprivation of liberty in the name of fighting terrorism continues. The Guardian reports yesterdays Appeal Court ruling on the proposed deportation of three suspected Algerian terrorists in which one was told it was unsafe to go back to his country, but not the reasons why. The SIAC courts, where the mens case has previously been dealt with, admit secret intelligence that the accused cant see or challenge.

 

I can tell you that the Home Office remains determined to deport the men but I cant tell you why it believes they wouldnt risk being tortured when they get there, when all the evidence submitted by us implies that they would.  I cant tell you because I dont know, nor do the accused and nor do their lawyers.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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