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Rendition flights: Miliband apology welcomed but more information needed

Responding to today’s apology from the Foreign Secretary David Miliband about previously failing to inform the House of Commons and the UK public about two US “extraordinary rendition” flights that landed in 2002 at the UK overseas territory of Diego Garcia, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“It’s right that David Miliband apologises for these new revelations.

“’Extraordinary rendition’ is a polite way of talking about kidnapping and secret detention and we’ve always called for the UK government to be transparent about any part the UK may have played in it.

“However, can the government now assure the public that other planes involved in the secret US movement of prisoners to places like Guantanano Bay have not flown through UK air space or that of UK overseas territories?

“And, can the government ensure that ‘rendition’ planes will not be using UK airspace or facilities in the future?

“It is not enough for the government simply to accept US assurances on correct behaviour in the ‘war on terror - we should retain our own integrity and act accordingly.

“It’s now important that David Miliband puts on the record the government’s absolute condemnation of the US practice of ‘extraordinary rendition’ and all kidnapping and secret detention in the ‘war on terror’.”

Amnesty International has published several reports on US “extraordinary rendition” flights, including numerous flights that have landed at UK and Irish airports. The organisation has longed called for more information and guarantees from the UK government on this serious human rights abuse.

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