Foreign Office comes clean on torture

By politics.co.uk staff

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has admitted failing to complain to the Pakistani government about claims from British nationals they were tortured there.

The humiliating revelation came after the Tory MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, Andrew Tyrie, tabled a question on the issue.

Lawyers for the men involved believe the FCO failed to press the Pakistanis on the issue because of their complicity in the detention of the men, and their awareness of their presence in Pakistan.

FCO officials have now openly admitted making no representations on behalf of one man who says he was tortured in Pakistan. But there is no evidence of complaint on behalf of three other men, either, despite the admittance not relating to them.

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Edward Davey said: “It is deeply disturbing that British citizens can be brutally tortured in a foreign country without our authorities standing up for them.

“The government’s first duty is to the safety and security of its own people. In this case it appears to have failed miserably.”

In a separate development, officials admitted not making a complaint about the treatment of Azhar Khan, from Slough, whose statements on his alleged mistreatment in Egypt hit the press yesterday.

The FCO said it was concerned about breaching Mr Khan’s rights under the Dtat Protection Act.