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United States: Secret Prisons

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the UK Government were informed that the United States was operating a secret prison programme; and if she will make a statement. (115436)

In his speech of 6 September 2006, President Bush acknowledged the existence of a detention programme operated by the CIA.

Prior to this speech, we were aware of the existence of a secret US detention programme only in general terms.

In 2005 the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) reported that the agencies had told them: “Clearly the US is holding some Al Qaida members in detention, other than at Guantanamo, but we do not know the location or terms of their detention and do not have access to them”. These comments were published in the ISC’s report “The Handling of Detainees by UK Intelligence Personnel in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq” of March 2005.