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From The Times February 20, 2010
Frances Gibb, Legal Editor, and Sean O’Neill, Security Editor

Binyam Mohamed: the former Guantánamo Bay detainee's treatment is the subject of a police inquiry (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

The Government’s own human rights watchdog has demanded a public inquiry into claims that British intelligence agencies were complicit in the torture of more than 20 detainees in the War on Terror, The Times has learnt.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says that it can no longer ignore the growing body of allegations against MI5 and MI6.

The commission’s chairman says in a letter to Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, that the Government’s blanket denials are an inadequate response. Trevor Phillips says: “Not enough has been done to reassure the commission and the public that these allegations are unfounded.”

A dossier of 25 cases has now been built up, including complaints of ill treatment, illegal detention and torture. The EHRC is concerned about mounting evidence that these actions were condoned by British agencies.

Mr Phillips told The Times: “Given the UK’s role as a world leader on human rights, it would be inexplicable for the Government not urgently to put in place an independent review process to assess the truth, or otherwise, of these allegations.” He also criticised as “inexplicable” a year-long delay by the Government in reporting to the United Nations Committee against Torture.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7034456.ece

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Richard Norton-Taylor guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 4 August 2009 19.59 BST

Ministers came under fresh pressure today over detailed allegations of complicity in torture, with Gordon Brown being asked whether the attorney general would investigate them and human rights groups joining MPs and peers demanding an independent inquiry.

They were responding to today’s report by parliament’s joint committee on human rights which said the government could no longer get away with repeating standard denials of complicity by the security and intelligence agencies.

It said the foreign and home secretaries had refused three times to give evidence to the committee and that ministers must immediately publish instructions given to MI5 and MI6 officers on the detention and interrogation of suspects abroad.

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