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ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION   Press Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 22nd November 2006   Pressure builds on Blair to say ‘No’ to US on Rendition   Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition has today written to the Prime Minister.   Mr Tyrie said:   ‘The results of the US elections, and the replacement of Donald Rumsfeld by Robert Gates, mean that changes can be expected in the way the US conducts the war in Iraq, and combats terrorism.   I have today written to Tony Blair asking him to make it clear to the US that the UK wants to see the end of the repugnant practice of rendition.   It looks disingenuous at best, and deceitful at worst, when, on the one hand, the government condemns Guantanamo, and says it doesn’t support torture, yet on the other, fails to utter a word to the US about their continuing policy of sending suspects to secret overseas facilities where they may either be tortured by foreign officials, or subject to ‘alternative’ interrogation techniques by the CIA.’   He continued:   ‘Silence from the government on this issue means that we are giving the US the green light to extract information under torture. Extraordinary rendition must stop.  The British government need to play a part in bringing it to an end, not in perpetuating it.’   He concluded:   ‘I will be travelling to Washington in December, with Norman Lamb MP, the Vice-Chair of the APPG, to seek to persuade the relevant Congressional Committees to  launch enquiries into America’s use of rendition and her allies’ role in it.’   Ends

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'Rendition: we have reached a fork in the road' - Tyrie   Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition has written to the Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett.   Mr Tyrie said:   ‘The Government repudiate torture, but they are not able to condemn rendition.  I am asking them to condemn rendition just as they have condemned Guantanamo Bay.   Alternatively, if the government believes that Britain’s safety can be enhanced by the practice of Extraordinary Rendition, they should legalize it.  I don’t think the British people would accept that. I can’t either.   But the Government cannot carry on like this, refusing to repudiate rendition or justify it, as the US administration does.  They have reached a fork in the road.   I believe that torture is always repugnant.  The practice of Extraordinary Rendition is wholly unacceptable and it should end.   Furthermore, rendition makes Britain and the West less secure. This is first because rendition and torture corrode the West’s strongest tool in suppressing terrorism: the sense that we stand for a better set of values than those who are attacking us and those who may be misled into offering terrorists a measure of support.    Secondly, it undermines international law, respect for which the West has a strong interest in buttressing.   Thirdly, it alienates those groups, particularly the moderate Muslims, on whose support we most depend, particularly for information.   Those who feel at greatest risk of finding themselves at the wrong end of such practices are watching these issues carefully.  They can see that we undermine the very values that we are seeking to promote. The apparent alienation evident in opinion polls[1] is probably related to it.   It is now common ground between politicians, police, the security services and the army, that heavy handed tactics in Northern Ireland in the early seventies tended to inflame extremism and serve to recruit terrorists more than it deterred it. A similar problem applies to the suppression of extremist Muslim fundamentalist terrorism.   ENDS

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PRESS RELEASE   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   TYRIE ASKS HARD QUESTIONS ON RENDITION   Following his previous exchange of letters with the Intelligence and Security Committee in May about Extraordinary Rendition, in light of various developments which have taken place – notably President Bush’s admission that America does maintain secret detention facilities outside the country - Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, has written to the Committee again.   Mr Tyrie commented:   'Torture is always repugnant. The Government should condemn the practice, and it should condemn extraordinary rendition just as, three years late, it has finally condemned Guantanamo Bay.'   In a Note sent to the Committee, Mr Tyrie said:   ‘In this inquiry, Parliament and the public will expect you to form and express views on three questions:   Is Extraordinary Rendition taking place, and if so on what scale? To what extent, if at all, is Britain involved in it? Is the practice of Extraordinary Rendition making Britain more or less secure, and what, if any, changes in Government policy are required?’   According to Mr Tyrie, the third question was the most significant:   ‘The most important and difficult question on which this Committee needs to form a judgment is this: are you confident that obtaining information by means of interrogating people subject to extraordinary rendition is making Britain more secure?   I am not able to obtain many of the necessary facts to make such a judgment.  Uniquely, you are.   Nonetheless, on the basis of the information I have seen, I would contend that the practice of Extraordinary Rendition makes Britain and the West less secure.  This is first because rendition and torture corrode the West’s strongest tool in suppressing terrorism: the sense that we stand for a better set of values than those who are attacking us and those who may be misled into offering terrorists a measure of support.    Secondly, it undermines international law, respect for which the West has a strong interest in buttressing.   Thirdly, it alienates those groups, particularly the moderate Muslims, on whose support we most depend, particularly for information.   Those who feel at greatest risk of finding themselves at the wrong end of such practices are watching these issues carefully.  They can see that we undermine the very values that we are seeking to promote. The apparent alienation evident in opinion polls is probably related to it.   It is now common ground between politicians, police, the security services and the army, that heavy handed tactics in Northern Ireland in the early seventies tended to inflame extremism and serve to recruit terrorists more than it deterred it. A similar problem applies to the suppression of extremist Muslim fundamentalist terrorism.   It may be that you disagree with this view. If you conclude that Extraordinary Rendition is helping make Britain more secure, the Committee should consider advising the government to amend the law to enable it to conduct renditions of its own.  Indeed, if that was your view it would be remiss of the Committee not to advise the government to do so.    The only alternative logical position would be to argue that although this information may benefit the UK, it would be morally unacceptable to obtain it in this way.  In that event it is incumbent on the government to condemn rendition, just as belatedly it has started to condemn Guantanamo.’   Ends

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The Intelligence and Security Committee has written to Andrew Tyrie stating that it will look into the issue of extraordinary rendition and will take his points into account. "This is a real step forward.  We uncovered a number of leads in our Information Sessions and I am delighted that the Intelligence and Security Committee will be following them up.  There are serious questions that need answers."

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Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the APPG on Extraordinary Rendition, has called on the FAC, the ISC and the JCHR to investigate allegations that the UK was involved in the renditions of Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna.

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Andrew Tyrie comments on Amnesty's report on rendition flights, and its claims that planes used by the CIA for rendition stopped in the UK on several occasions.

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The APPG on Extraordinary Rendition holds an information session on Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna.

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Important questions raised by Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna's lawyer.  Andrew Tyrie writes to Jack Straw asking for a response to these questions.

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Andrew Tyrie today invited US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to answer MPs questions about extraordinary rendition.

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MPs and peers from the APPG met today with NGOs and lawyers to create an expert working group on rendition, which aimed to take forward suggestions about how to take forward the investigations into UK involvement or complicity in the practice of Extraordinary rendition.