5th April 2009
British complicity in rendition and torture pre-dates 9/11
A new report by Cageprisoners into the involvement of British authorities in torture and rendition details alarming findings that are too recurrent to ignore. Today Cageprisoners publishes, Fabricating Terrorism II: British Complicity in Renditions and Torture, which highlights 29 cases of individuals who have been subjected to renditions or torture with recurrent allegations of the direct involvement of the British officials even before 9/11.
Strongly reminiscent of the case of former Guantanamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed, the report details the experiences of Farid Hilali, who in 1998, years prior to the start of the 'War on Terror', was first tortured in Dubai, UAE and then rendered to Morocco where he was further abused – all with the knowledge and collusion of British intelligence officials.
Spokesman for Cageprisoners, Moazzam Begg, said of the report,
"In the summer of 1998 I was visited by MI5 in my house in England. They told me it was regarding the case of man called Farid Hilali. Hilali had written to me from Dubai, telling me he had been detained there and horribly tortured and forced to sign confessions. He also asked me to find him a lawyer. That is how I first met Gareth Pierce. Three years later, I was abducted by the CIA in Pakistan and subsequently held and tortured in secret locations, Kandahar, Bagram and Guantanamo Bay. MI5 agents interrogated me at every leg of my ordeal – including one who had come to my house in 1998. I hope that the police investigation into Mr. Mohamed's case will finally demonstrate just how many of us suffered like this and, in my case, a result of my own government's policies. That is why we have taken them to court."
Officials making inquiries into the case of Mr Mohamed would do well to consider the statements of Mr Hilali in assessing the extent to which British government agencies have actively colluded with foreign governments in extracting confessions by torture. This new report should also make it clear that Britain's complicity in torture was systematic and was applied equally - and immorally - against both foreign and British nationals.
Cageprisoners is a human rights organisation that exists to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.
Contact: Asim Qureshi
Number: 0044 (0) 7973264197
Cageprisoners mailing list