UK/Torture

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Concept.png UK/Torture
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Interest ofIan Cobain
Officially, the UK government has not approved of torture for a long time, and does what it can to prevent it being carried out. Various cases such as Binyam Mohamed's tell a different story, however.

“Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States, and also let me say, we believe that [U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice] is lying, there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition full stop.”
Jack Straw (2005)  [1]

Official narrative

In 1978, charged before the European Court of Human Rights with torturing IRA suspects, Britain swore "a solemn undertaking" that it would never again deploy these psychological torture techniques. (developed in conjunction with the US). On December 7 2005 the House of Lords cited this case and branding torture "an unqualified evil" which should have no place in the proud, thousand-year tradition of British justice.[2] UK Foreign minister David Miliband repeated the UK's official story that "Torture is abhorrent. Britain never supports or condones it". [Citation Needed]

Unanswered Questions

  • Why has David Miliband insisted that the UK's interrogation policy should not be made public?

Historical Record

After over 50 years of denial, the UK government finally admitted that it had tortured Kenyans involved in the Mau Mau Uprising.

Whistleblowers

Craig Murray (Uzbekistan)

Craig Murray was the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan until he resigned in 2004, citing UK support for torture as a major reason.

Ben Griffin (Iraq)

Ben Griffin worked in the SAS for 8 years and in February 2008 game a speech condemning the UK's complicity in torture[3]. He was immediately served with an injunction to try to prevent him from speaking further about his experiences in SAS[4].

Harry Ferguson (North Ireland)

Ex-MI6 Harry Ferguson in 2008 he stated that “we don't use torture because it doesn't work. Like the CIA we had to learn the hard way. In Northern Ireland, IRA terrorist suspects were waterboarded in the 1970s. Even using such techniques, it took time to overcome the subject's resistance and by then the intelligence gained was virtually worthless.” [5] In 2013 he announced he would start a week-long hunger strike in solidarity with the Guantánamo Bay prisoner Shaker Aamer, prompted by shame over the behaviour of MI6 for whom he worked in North Ireland.[6] He registered regret that the "organisation of which I was once proud to be a member now supports policies including assassination, rendition, torture and detention without trial".

Victims

Baha Mousa

Full article: Baha Mousa

Baha Mousa was an Iraqi civilian who was tortureded to death during an interrogation by British army soldiers in Basra in September 2003.[7]

Binyam Mohamed

Full article: Stub class article Binyam Mohamed

Binyam Mohamed was taken prisoner by US forces in Afghanistan in 2003 and 'extraordinarily rendered' to Guantanamo Bay in 2004. He was released without charge and returned to the UK as a free man in February 2009. As of July 2010 Mohamed was pressing a civil action in the UK courts against the UK government alleging complicity in his torture and secret rendition. After prolonged argument in the court, with the government and its security services strenuously opposed to their release, a series of documents were finally released to the public on 12 July 2010.

 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:How Britain Wages Wararticle8 July 2008John Pilger
Document:Second Baha Mousa Memorial LecturespeechSeptember 2010Phil ShinerA shocking introduction to the systematic abuse of prisoners by the British military in Iraq and focusing on the case of Baha Mousa
Document:The postwar photographs that British authorities tried to keep hiddenarticle3 April 2006Ian CobainThe British military and security services are no strangers to torturing their prisoners when they judge it necessary.
Document:Three Shattered Mythsopen letter26 January 2005Babar Ahmad
File:2005 03 01 PUB Intelligence and Security Committee Report.pdfreport1 March 2005
File:2010 07 06 PUB David Cameron letter to Peter Gibbs re Torture Inquiry .pdfletter6 July 2010David Cameron
File:2010 07 06 PUB New Government Guidelines on Torture - additional information .pdflegal document6 July 2010
File:2010 07 06 PUB New Government Guidelines on Torture .pdflegal document6 July 2010
File:2010 07 09 Reprieve letter to Prime Minister Cameron re Torture Inquiry.pdfletter9 July 2010
File:2010 07 14 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case - Claimaints Skeleton Argument 2.pdflegal document14 July 2010
File:2010 07 14 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case - Claimaints Skeleton Argument.pdfreport14 July 2010
File:2010 07 14 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case - Fourth Witness Statement of Sapna Malik.pdflegal document14 July 2010Sapna Malik
File:2010 07 14 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case - Secret Services Memos Exhibit 19.pdfmemo14 July 2010MI5
File:2010 07 14 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case - Secret Services Memos Exhibit 20.pdflegal document14 July 2010MI5
File:2010 07 14 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case - Secret Services Memos Exhibit 21.pdfmemo14 July 2010MI5
File:2010 07 14 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case - Secret Services Memos Exhibit 22.pdfmemo14 July 2010MI5
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case Louise Christian Witness Statement.pdflegal document15 July 2010Louise Christian
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC10.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC11.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC12.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC13.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC14.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC15.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC16.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC4.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC5.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC6.pdfreport15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC7.pdfreport15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC8.pdflegal document15 July 2010
File:2010 07 15 PUB Binyam Mohamed Civil Case- Exhibit LC9.pdflegal document15 July 2010


References