Millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money is being spent in secret on bodies linked to serious human rights abuses in wealthy Gulf states after the government blocked the release of basic information about a shadowy fund administered by the Foreign Office.
Multiple Freedom of Information requests for details of how the £20 million-a-year Integrated Activity Fund (IAF) is being spent have been refused on the basis of national security and other exemptions relating to the involvement of the intelligence services.
Projects under the fund include a controversial security and justice programme in Bahrain that the foreign affairs committee said last week should be reviewed in light of evidence that Bahraini prison staff and security personnel had been implicated in torture and extrajudicial killings, amid…