Socialist Worker

Evidence of torture haunts the British government

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2192

More evidence is emerging that the British government is allowing its territory of Diego Garcia to be used for torture.

Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni, a former prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, endured three months of torture.

He was beaten, electrocuted, denied medical treatment and hung from metal hooks attached to the ceiling.

A plane carrying Madni from Indonesia to Egypt passed through Diego Garcia.

A case in the High Court in London is attempting to force the government to hand over all the information it has about the flight.

Madni says he was tortured with a British intelligence officer present.

The government wants the case heard in secret.

Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The only inhabitants are British and US military personnel.

Foreign secretary David Miliband has admitted that on two occasions “a plane with a single detainee on board refuelled at the US facility in Diego Garcia”.

But a report from the Council of Europe confirms that there have been hundreds of secret rendition flights using British airports.

Countless numbers went through Diego Garcia.

As Socialist Worker went to press the government was attempting to have yet another case about torture heard entirely behind closed doors.

Security services

Seven men are seeking damages against the government for mistreatment during their “extraordinary rendition” and torture facilitated by the British security services.

They include former Guantanamo Bay detainees Binyam Mohamed and Moazzam Begg.

They are pursuing a claim for a range of civil wrongs including torture, false imprisonment and misfeasance in public office.

Lawyers for government bodies including MI6, the Foreign Office and the attorney general argue that more than 250,000 documents would have to be provided.

More than half of them are marked “secret” and they say that disclosure would take up to ten years.

There are numerous allegations that British soldiers tortured, abused and unlawfully killed Iraqis.

The government is refusing to hold a full public inquiry into them.

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Article information

Tue 9 Mar 2010, 18:45 GMT
Issue No. 2192
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