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UK: 'dangerous' bill could allow MI5 and police to authorise torture and murder

Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill to be debated on Thursday

Amnesty International calls for significant amendments to prevent government agencies being given apparent authority to sign off on permission slips to rape, torture and kill

Significant amendments to the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill are urgently needed to prevent government agents - including MI5, police agents and even sources for the Food Standards Authority - being given the power to authorise serious crimes including torture and murder with impunity, Amnesty International said, ahead of a parliamentary debate tomorrow (15 October).

Speaking in advance of the Committee and Report stage of the Bill in the House of Commons, Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“This dangerous bill appears to give police and other government agencies legal licence to sign off on serious crimes - including torture and murder - without any apparent limit.

“The use of such disturbing measures is a real fear – we’ve seen it happen in Northern Ireland, when undercover agents in paramilitary organisations were allowed by their handlers to torture and kill innocent civilians so that they could keep their cover intact. 

“It is deeply shocking that such appalling acts could now be declared lawful for all purposes across the UK and overseas.

“MPs must amend the bill to ensure robust oversight of undercover agents and informants and rule out impunity for human rights abuses at home or abroad.”


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