Friday, August 22, 2008

MI5 facilitated torture

Remember Binyam Mohamed? A UK resident, he was detained in Pakistan and questioned by US authorities, all the time being beaten, hung from leather straps, and threatened with firearms. He was then disappeared and rendered to Morocco, where he was systematically tortured by having his chest and genitals sliced with a scalpel, before ending up in the US gulag at Guantanamo Bay.

A UK judge has just found that the British security services colluded in and facilitated this abuse:

Today's judgment said the foreign secretary accepted that Mohamed had established an arguable case that he was "subject to torture during his detention by or on behalf of the United States". It was also accepted that he had an arguable case that he was subject to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

"The court finds on the basis that what was done was arguably wrongdoing, the [British] security service facilitated it," the judgment said.

As a result, they've ordered the UK government to turn over to Mohamed's lawyers secret information relating to his torture and resulting "confession", so that it can be used in an attempt to defend his case before a military tribunal in Guantanamo. It seems the British courts take the prohibition on evidence extracted under torture seriously, even if the Americans and their toadies in the Foreign Office do not.