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Extraordinary Rendition

Volume 697: debated on Wednesday 9 January 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will consult Mr Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe, on the impact on worldwide perceptions of states of the use of torture and extraordinary renditions for interrogation. [HL960]

The UK has an ongoing dialogue with the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on a range of human rights issues. The commissioner will meet my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary on 6 February 2008. However, we have no plans to consult him in the precise terms set out by the noble Lord.

The Government unreservedly condemn the use of torture and we work hard with our international partners to eradicate this abhorrent practice. The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to establish new international standards aimed at preventing torture and has encouraged states to sign up to these obligations. We also played a key role in bringing the Optional Protocol to the Torture Convention into force.

We have not approved and will not approve a policy of facilitating the transfer of individuals through the UK to places where there are substantial grounds to believe they would face a real risk of torture.