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Question 3 — To what extent is a prohibition on the 5 techniques now entrenched in military doctrine? We believe the inquiry should go on to determine whether UK military doctrine accepts that all forms of torture and ill-treatment as defined as such in international law are prohibited at all times and in all places, without the possibility of any justification whatsoever.
Another fine line of inquiry
Question 6 — Should the use of the 5 techniques be specifically criminalised, or is legislation otherwise required? What should be criminalised are all acts of torture and ill-treatment, as defined in international law, at all times and all places, without exception and without the possibility of justification. Those in a position of command should be made criminally liable for torture and ill-treatment when there are a position of authority and fail to prevent or to prosecute such acts, as set out for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in s.
We do not believe that the 5 techniques should be specifically criminalized as that could be taken to imply that other forms of ill-treatment are permitted.
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Instead they should be used as examples of criminal acts under the crimes of torture and ill-treatment. We are concerned however that the latest consolidated guidance for overseas interrogation published by the government on 6 July , appears to create an exception for hooding and blindfolding in some circumstances.
In our assessment, this provision of the guidance fails on both counts. The doctrine should be regularly reviewed to reflect developments in international law in the protection of detainees and prevention of torture and ill-treatment. In particular that should mean:. That all detention, at all times, should not be arbitrary, i. Anyone arbitrarily detained for any period of time should be compensated.
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This should be the local criminal courts where UK forces are conducting [law enforcement operations and holding criminal detainees. When UK forces choose to detain they assume responsibility for the welfare of the detainees. Therefore any detention operation should be planned to ensure that detainees have at all times access to medical care physical and mental , in a language they understand, and sufficient and appropriate and adequate food and water and appropriate standards of detention, including temperature control of the place of detention.
Question Is there a need, with suitable adaptations for the military context, for a role similar to Custody Sergeants in police custody facilities? Having a person with authority in each detention centre responsible for each detainee would be appropriate. This person should have a separate chain of command to the local force commander who bears legal responsibility for the treatment of detainees and be held liable for the maintenance of records on the detainees.
Question 14 — Is there a need for time limits for detention at company and battlegroup level on operations? If so, what should the time limits be or is it impractical to specify a standard time limit in the military context?
Time limits are a basic requirement in proving detention is carried out on a basis in law, and an important safeguard against abuse. Detention should only be according to clear laws, with very clear time limits, understood by the detainees and their representatives, and those carrying out the detention.
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Any detainee held longer than the time limit authorised will have been arbitrarily detained and must be compensated. Question 17 — Within higher formations on operations, is there sufficient clarity as to the responsibilities of different branches in relation to CPERS? It should be clear to senior officers that they will be criminally liable when they are aware, or should be aware that abuse may take place under their command and fail to prevent it, or fail to ensure it is prosecuted.
Question 18 — Is adequate provision made for the inspection of detention facilities on operations?
All detention centres run by the UK should be open for inspection. Inspectors should be professional, independent and with the powers to visit without notice and with full cooperation. Findings of inspections, including those of the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC , should be circulated as widely as possible throughout those responsible for detention and the broader mission. Question 20 — Where deaths, serious injury or injuries suggestive of abuse occur in military custody on operations, is adequate provision made in order to ensure the retention of evidence and prompt investigation in theatre?
Police and judicial authorities seeking to investigate alleged abuse, whether UK military and civilian police, police in the country in which the alleged abuse occurs, UK or national prosecutors or judges, must have unfettered access to any potential crime scene. The local military commander should not be able to prevent their access. Cooperation with such investigations should be required of all members of the armed forces.
The military commander of the area should be held liable where evidence has been lost in their area of command, as well as those actually responsible for the loss. The military police RMP and other forces should be fully and functionally independent, including of the chain of command.
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They should be able to make their own decisions on investigations into crimes without interference of any other military commander. They should be present in military missions from the start, and provided with the necessary language interpretation assistance to allow them to investigate crimes in full.
Failure to cooperate with the military police should be a disciplinary offence. Members of forces should be required to immediately inform the military police of suspected crimes. The military police should have a separate inspectorate, to which those who do not believe a crime has been adequately investigated, including victims and their families, can appeal. Their training should be revamped to ensure full understanding of international crimes, including command responsibility.
Tactical Questioning, Tricycle Theatre
UK military forces, and the RMP, should at all times cooperate with criminal investigations carried out by the domestic criminal justice authorities, who may be the only persons able to immediately discover and secure evidence as well as interview the potential victims and witnesses.
This is irrespective as to whether ultimately UK forces would be subject to domestic or military prosecutions. The Attorney, who is a government minister, should have no power to prevent or halt prosecutions, especially given the potentially embarrassing nature of such cases to the government of which he or she is part.
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