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Sunday, October 23, 2016
Suffolk Churches Together issue joint protest at treatment of terror suspects
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 Churches Together in Suffolk have issued a joint statement protesting over George Bush's plans to create military commissions to try suspected terrorists, and move them to 'an environment where they can be held secretly and questioned by experts.' They also express concern that the British government may be providing facilities to aid the US government in transporting suspects to secret locations for questioning. In a letter for and on behalf of the Denominational Ecumenical Officers representing: the Eastern Baptist Association, Church of England (Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich), The Methodist Church, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia, The Salvation Army, The United Reformed Church, Revd Alan Ashton Moderator of Churches Together in Suffolk writes: 'This denial of legal and democratic rights is a cause of deep disquiet to Churches Together in Suffolk who are gravely concerned that the UK government appears to be complicit in the US practice of "extraordinary rendition" and possible torture of terrorist suspects. 'We fear that our government may be turning a blind eye to a serious breach of human rights. We have written to MPs and our letters have been passed to the Home Office. We are united in finding the replies to be inadequate. Matters of genuine concern have not been addressed. Let us be quite clear about the nature of extraordinary rendition. It is the forced removal of a person who has not been charged with any offence from one country to another. It is kidnapping by the state and contravenes all human rights legislation. The purpose of this practice is reprehensible: its victims are removed from the protection of the rule of law and delivered to countries where torture is common practice. We believe that torture (the US euphemism is "coercive interrogation") can never be countenanced and that it has long been proved that those subjected to pain and fear do not provide accurate information. 'As Christians from the mainline denominations in Suffolk we speak with one voice for those who have been illegally deprived of their freedom with the apparent complicity of our government. 'We call upon our government to carry out a thorough and open investigation into reports concerning the illegal use of UK facilities, both here and in the Caribbean, in transporting people to secret destinations. 'We cannot remain silent while our government appears to support a foreign power in illegal and inhumane activities which contravene international law.'
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