PM’s Office Forced to Disclose Torture Documents

Open Society Justice Initiative

Countries that participated in the CIA Rendition Programme

The Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has been ordered to release documents on the CIA Extraordinary Rendition and torture program after a long Freedom of Information Battle. After the Prime Minister’s office refused to process Dr Brook’s request, the Acting Australian Information Commissioner, Mr Timothy Pilgrim, decided that a ‘practical refusal’ reason does not exist, and that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet must process the request.

In June 2015, a similar decision was handed down by the Information Commissioner in relation to another request by Dr Brooks seeking documents that referred to Guantanamo, torture, and the US military commissions. The Commissioner ordered that the Prime Ministers office hand over the documents by July. However, four months after the decision, more stalling has meant that the documents are still being witheld.

The Australian Government is one of the 54 Governments named as being involved in the US Government’s Extraordinary Rendition Programme which has resulted in the abduction, torture, unlawful detention, and sometimes death, of countless people. Some of the survivors of the programme are still languishing in Guantanamo, fourteen years later, without charge or trial.

Despite many Government’s around the world holding investigation’s into their involvement in these human rights violations, the Australian Government continues to take a ‘head-in-the-sand’ approach, and there has been no accountability under international law.

I will post updates as they occur.