If British hands are dirty just because they knew about the torture taking place, how dirty are ours?
Britain's government on Wednesday disclosed once-secret information on the treatment of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who says he was tortured in U.S. custody, losing an extended court battle to keep the material classified.
Judges rejected the government's claim that revealing the information would damage U.S.-British intelligence cooperation.
The information disclosed consisted of a summary of U.S. intelligence information given to British spy agencies about former detainee Binyam Mohamed's treatment during interrogations by the Americans in May 2002.
The paragraphs read in court disclosed that he was subjected to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" including sleep deprivation, shackling and threats resulting in mental stress and suffering.
Ethiopia-born Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and says he was tortured there and in Morocco before being flown to Guantanamo Bay. He was released without charge last year. [...]
The seven paragraphs summarize a U.S. account of Mohamed's treatment given to British intelligence before he was interviewed by a British MI5 agent in May 2002, the High Court disclosed last year.
Mohamed's lawyers had long claimed the secret paragraphs prove he was mistreated and that the U.S. and British governments were complicit in his abuse. They have been fighting for access to the documents, along with The Associated Press and other news organizations.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of the rights group Liberty, said a "full and broad" public inquiry into British complicity in torture is needed in light of the information contained in the newly released paragraphs.
"It shows the British authorities knew far more than they let on about Binyam Mohamed and how he was tortured in U.S. custody," she said. "It is clear from these seven paragraphs that our authorities knew very well what was happening to Mr. Mohamed. Our hands are very dirty indeed."
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Britain has been forced to reveal some secret information about torture at Guantanamo Bay: