November 13, 2011

Remembrance Sunday

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On a day for remembering the sacrifices of a generation, we should also remember that we do today define the country and ideals for which so many gave up their lives.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture expressed concern about the “limitations that may frustrate the very object” of the inquiry.

Amnesty International has pointed out fundamental flaws in the Detainee Inquiry

  1. It is not transparent. The Government, rather than the inquiry panel, holds the power to decide what documents are published as part of this investigation. Much of the inquiry will take place behind closed doors.
  2. It lacks power. The panel doesn’t have the authority to compel witnesses to testify or to demand evidence from state and non-state parties.
  3. It doesn’t place enough emphasis on the victims of torture and rendition. Meaningful participation by those who have been mistreated and illegally detained is not central to the investigation. The very people whose cases are being investigated cannot challenge evidence given in secret by Government officials.

Those who lay down their lives in the First World War deserve a country much better than this.

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