Friday, June 26, 2009

More collusion

A year ago, we learned that the UK had actively colluded in the torture of Binyam Mohamed, forwarding questions to the Pakistani, Moroccan and American interrogators who systematically and repeatedly tortured him, while turning a blind eye to the abuse. But it turns out he wasn't the only one. Now a second UK man has come forward, alleging that he was detained and tortured in Bangladesh at the request of British intelligence after the London bombings:

The former civil servant from south Wales said he emigrated to Bangladesh in 2005 to marry and was arrested by the Bangladeshi Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) in December of that year.

He claimed two MI5 officers ordered his arrest, and that when he was subsequently subjected to mental and physical abuse they were aware of his treatment. He said he was taken to an interrogation centre where he was assaulted by Bangladeshi officers.

"They stripped me naked and said that if I didn't say what they wanted me to say, they would rape me and my wife and burn her and other family members," he told the BBC. "They told me to say I was al-Qaida and the organiser of the 7/7 bombings."

He claimed an intelligence officer told him they "were only doing this for the British". Rahman said he was initially held for three weeks but after being released his mistreatment continued at sporadic interviews for two years.

He's now suing the Home Office for this maltreatment. He shouldn't be suing them - he should be prosecuting them for conspiracy to torture.

And it gets worse. We'd thought this policy of collusion in torture was a recent phenomena, a product of Bush and Blair's "war on terror". But it seems its been going on for a long time:

A parliamentary inquiry into allegations of British collusion in torture is set to investigate whether counter-terrorism chiefs ordered the repeated torture and rendition of a former British resident.

Speaking for the first time about his ordeal, Farid Hilali told the Guardian that during his detention in the United Arab Emirates a British secret service agent turned up at the prison where he was being abused and interrogated him, knowing that he had been tortured.

Hilali says he was then rendered to Morocco, where he was tortured for a further 22 days.

Hilali says that throughout this he was questioned extensively about alleged extremists living in the UK, and about surveillance photographs that had been taken in London. He says he believes his torturers were supplied the pictures by Britain.

Hilali's detention took place in 1999, and if the allegations prove true it would make him the first known victim of Britain's alleged complicity in torture, indicating that the practice started before the 9/11 attacks that led to George Bush declaring a "war on terror".

Something is clearly rotten in the UK security services, and has been for some time. The unaccountable spies - the UK's own "deep state" - seem to feel they are above the law and can ignore the clear policies of their government. It is long past time Parliament brought them to heel.