Theresa May: End the Charade and come clean on British spy crimes

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a game in which players guess a word or phrase from an acted clue

an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance

In "Charade", an art project by David Birkin, actors and artists – including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Trevor Paglen, Peter Kennard, and Martha Rosler – mime the crimes that British spies may be authorised to commit in our name. Video edited by Trevor Tweeten.

You can watch the full 8 minute video on David Birkin's website.

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The Prime Minister has a list of crimes she says MI5 agents can commit without facing prosecution.

That list is being kept from us, but could include serious crimes like:

  • Kidnapping
  • Torture
  • Sexual offences
  • Murder

We all recognise that our security services must be allowed to do their vital job. But recent revelations of systematic UK involvement in kidnap and torture have provided a warning we cannot ignore - when the rules are cloaked in secrecy, abuses can flourish.

We’re calling on the Prime Minister to publish her spy crimes guidance so we can ensure that legal and ethical red lines are not being crossed.

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