UK: SUBMISSION TO THE INTELLIGENCE AND
SECURITY COMMITTEE
THE ADEQUACY OF THE “CONSOLIDATED GUIDANCE TO INTELLIGENCE
OFFICERS AND SERVICE PERSONNEL ON THE DETENTION AND
INTERVIEWING OF DETAINEES OVERSEAS, AND ON THE PASSING AND
RECEIPT OF INTELLIGENCE RELATING TO DETAINEES”
INTRODUCTION

1. Amnesty International submits the following in response to the Intelligence and Security
Committee’s (ISC) call for written evidence issued on 11 September 2014. This submission
addresses only the second point in the call for evidence, namely the adequacy of “the Consolidated
Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of
Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees” (“the
Guidance”).
2. Amnesty International has submitted a separate joint statement with eight NGOs on the 27 issues
and broader themes raised by the Detainee Inquiry’s report. Some of the 27 issues and themes
relate to the Guidance; our evidence here, however, rests on our analysis of the Guidance and
related correspondence with the Government setting out our concerns in 2010 and 2011, rather
than relying on any rubric set out by the Detainee Inquiry’s report. Copies of our correspondence
with Government on the Guidance were shared at the time with the Detainee Inquiry.

PUBLICATION OF THE GUIDANCE

3. Amnesty International welcomed the publication of the Guidance as an important step toward
ensuring transparency and accountability in relation to the actions of UK personnel operating
overseas and their relationships with foreign intelligence services. The global prohibition of torture
and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CIDTP) is absolute and requires
governments to take positive steps to prohibit and prevent such abuse. We acknowledge the
Guidance’s clear affirmation that the UK will not “participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the
use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment for any purpose” and what we understand to
be a prohibition of any intelligence activities of any kind by the UK where it is known or believed
that torture will take place.
4. The Guidance nevertheless still gives rise to grave human rights concerns. It remains ambiguous
and potentially permissive about situations where there is a serious risk that UK action will result in
torture or other ill-treatment and/or where there is knowledge or belief that UK action will definitely
result in other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Our correspondence with the Government
since the publication of the Guidance have not allayed our concerns.
5. Amnesty International recognizes the UK’s international efforts to eradicate torture. The
Government’s failure to date to strengthen the Guidance in any meaningful manner is regrettable.
EUR 45/012/2014

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31 October 2014

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