Intelligence thought to have been derived by torture in Saudi Arabia helped to foil a terror attack on UK soil, it has emerged. Reflecting on the revelation, the ex-head of MI6 said torturing terror suspects produces “useful information.”
In his first interview since stepping down as MI6 chief, Sir John Sawers made the controversial statement to the BBC.
He said UK security services refrain from engaging in torture because it breaches British values. But he argued torture can be effective in the short term.
Sawers’ remarks were condemned by director of human rights group Liberty Shami Chakrabarti.
“The one thing I could never have predicted is in 2015 we would be having to talk about torture in the UK,” she told the Independent.
Britain’s security services have also come under fire from UK human rights group Cage.
The human rights organization warns MI5 and MI6’s use of torture directly contributed to the radicalization of Michael Adebolajo and Mohammed Emwazi.