Human rights groups and lawyers intend to pull out of the inquiry into British complicity in allegations of torture because it does not have ''credibility or transparency'', they said today.
In a joint letter to the solicitor for the inquiry, 10 groups including Liberty, Reprieve and Amnesty International said they did not intend to submit any evidence or attend any further meetings with the inquiry team.
It follows the publication of the inquiry's protocols which show the final decision on whether material uncovered by the inquiry, led by Sir Peter Gibson, can be made public will rest with the Cabinet Secretary.
The protocols also stated that former detainees and their lawyers will not be able to question intelligence officials and all evidence from current or former members of the security and intelligence agencies, below the level of head, will be heard in private.
In the letter, the campaigners wrote: ''Plainly an inquiry conducted in the way that you describe and in accordance with the protocol would not comply with Article Three of the European Convention on Human Rights.
''We are particularly disappointed that the issue of what material may be disclosed to the public will not be determined independently of Government and, further, that there will be no meaningful participation of the former and current detainees and other interested third parties.
''As you know, we were keen to assist the inquiry in the vital work of establishing the truth about allegations that UK authorities were involved in the mistreatment of detainees held abroad.
''Our strong view, however, is that the process currently proposed does not have the credibility or transparency to achieve this.
''If the inquiry proceeds on this basis, therefore, and in light of indications from the lawyers acting for former detainees that they will not be participating, we do not intend to submit any evidence or attend any further meetings with the inquiry team.''
The letter was signed by campaigners the Aire centre, Amnesty International, British Irish Rights Watch, Cageprisoners, Freedom from Torture, Human Rights Watch, Justice, Liberty, Redress and Reprieve.
A second letter written jointly by Imran Khan and solicitors who represent former Guantanamo Bay detainees also confirmed their intention to pull out.
"We consider it impossible to advise those whom we represent that the structure and protocols now confirmed for the Gibson inquiry can achieve what are essential ingredients for a public inquiry into grave state crimes," it said.
"What is proposed is a 'Detainee Inquiry' in which there will be no constructive participation by the detainees.
"The detainees will not be able to ask questions or see or hear the key evidence which is to be considered only in secret session.
"They will not even know if the individuals being questioned are the right ones."
They added that human rights obligations and international law for an inquiry "have been deliberately avoided".
The lack of input for detainees, "simply serves to demonstrate that there is no comprehension on the part of the Government of the gravity of the crimes which representatives of the state may have committed", they said.
"We had hoped as lawyers to assist in a transparent exercise of vital importance.
"It is a matter of profound regret that our assessment is that the inquiry does not provide the means by which this can be realised.
"In the absence of there being any alteration to the protocols, our advice is compelled to be that it is inappropriate for our clients to submit evidence."
A series of high-profile human rights lawyers signed the letter, including Louise Christian, Irene Nembhard, Gareth Peirce, Tayab Ali and Imran Khan.
The names and circumstances of the death of the victims referred to on this website comes from court documents, witness statements, official reports, and respected human rights and civil liberties organisations such as Amnesty International. Allegations of the British Army Force Research Unit collusion in the murder of UK citizens, including the murder of human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane comes from the British Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens who conducted the official enquiry into British Army Collusion.