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M15 accused of complicity in torture
M15 accused of complicity in torture
According to Binyam’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, senior government officials are legally obliged to ensure that staff is trained properly in accordance with the United nations’ convention against torture.
Saturday, February 20,2010 19:00
by Ruqaya Izzidien BM&Ikhwanweb

BIRMINGHAM: Jonathan Evans, head of MI5 could be complicit and ultimately responsible for the torture of UK resident Binyam Mohamed, according to his lawyers.

According to Binyam’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, senior government officials are legally obliged to ensure that staff is trained properly in accordance with the United nations’ convention against torture.

Ethiopian national and British resident Binyam Mohamed was detained in Guantanamo Bay between 2004 and 2009. After five years he was released this month and his story has sparked much interest amongst human rights campaigners and concerned citizens alike.

Binyam Mohamed claims to have been tortured in Morocco, with his interrogators using information about him that he thinks cold only have come from the United Kingdom.

The United States government arrested Binyam by the power of extraordinary rendition and although the now 31-year-old admitted during his detention to training in an Al-Qaida military camp, he has maintained that this confession was obtained through the use of torture.

The London-based Metropolitan Police are investigating the function of an MI5 officer in Mohamed’s case and the British High Court recently revealed that the same officer paid three visits to Morocco during the time that Binyam claims to have been tortured there.

Senior UK ministers and the Director-General of MI5 had declined to give evidence over the case to the investigating parliamentary committee. MP Andrew Dismore, and the committee chairman, said that “it is unacceptable both for ministers to refuse to answer policy questions about the security services, and for the director general of MI5 to answer questions from the press but not from a Parliamentary committee.”

Last month the United Kingdom’s Court of Appeal ruled that not only had Mohamed been subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities”, but also that information held by its Foreign Secretary must be revealed.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband criticized the court ruling for governmental transparency with Jonathan Sumption, QC, stated on behalf of the Foreign Secretary that the judges’ stance was “in many respects unnecessary and profoundly damaging to the interests of this country,” adding that “I would go as far as to say their views are irresponsible.”

Such criticisms of British senior judges, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, by a government minister are rare.

Binyam’s lawyer argues Evans’ culpability by stating “the villain of the piece was not the functionary, but the person who sat at the desk setting the rules.”

BM

 
tags: Qaeda / Qaida / Torture / Britain / Birmingham / UK / Ethiopian / Human Rights / Justice / MI5 / David Miliband
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