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UK lawmakers investigating allegations of CIA prison on UK Indian Ocean island

[JURIST] UK lawmakers will investigate whether the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has secretly held terror suspects [JURIST news archive] on a sovereign British territory in the Indian Ocean, the Guardian reported Friday. The House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee will look into the long-standing allegations [JURIST report] of interrogations by the CIA on the island of Diego Garcia, which has been leased to the US for the Diego Garcia naval base [official website]. Lawyers for Reprieve [advocacy website], a UK legal charity representing some detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], has alleged [report, PDF; executive summary, PDF] that UK overseas territories have been used "to support illegal interstate transfer, enforced disappearance and torture in the context of the 'war on terror'" and has called for UK lawmakers to question US and UK officials about the allegations. Reprieve has accused the UK government of being "systematically complicit" in the disappearance and alleged torture of terror detainees. While the Foreign Affairs Committee has agreed to investigate the allegations, it is not clear whether the UK government knows if the CIA has detained terror suspects at the Diego Garcia naval base. The Guardian has more.

Last month, CIA Director Michael Hayden defended the United States' overseas detention and interrogation policy [JURIST report], saying that the program had obtained vital information about the terrorist threat against the US detailed in a July report [PDF text]. In June, Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty concluded in a report [COE materials; JURIST report] for the Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe that the CIA directly ran secret detention facilities in Europe with the "requisite permissions, protections or active assistance" of European governments, and that the framework for the cooperation was developed secretly among NATO members.

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