Senate torture report could open floodgates for costly lawsuits against United States, Britain and other allies complicit in programme, experts warn

Chained and kneeling: Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees captured in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks were transferred to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba

The explosive Senate Committee torture report could open the floodgates for costly lawsuits against the U.S., Britain and any other countries complicit with the CIA’s so-called ‘enhanced interrogation’ programme, top lawyers have warned.

Experts who have spent years working at American detention centres said yesterday’s report did not contain any surprises, but suggested that now detainees’ torture allegations are supported by an official government report, claimants have far more evidence to back any legal action.

Human rights lawyers are currently working their way through the 525-page report, which confirmed the existence of secret CIA prisons around the world, in the hope of finding material that could provide the breakthrough needed to revive dormant and failed lawsuits launched by detainees.

Previously, private claimants and international non-governmental organizations have found it incredibly difficult to win legal challenges alleging illegal interrogation by the CIA and its allies.

This is largely because, until now, the U.S. government has insisted that all details of the detentions and related extraordinary rendition hearings were state secrets, and therefore not valid evidence…