Call for Inquiries Into Mohamed Torture Case

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by
The Irish Times

Call for Inquiries Into Mohamed Torture Case

by
Frank Millar

THE BRITISH government is under fresh pressure to concede police and judicial inquiries into allegations that the security service, MI5, colluded in the torture of British resident Binyam Mohamed, who was released from Guantánamo Bay last month.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats demanded referral to the police alongside an independent judicial inquiry after Mr Mohamed disclosed details of two telegrams from MI5 to the American CIA suggesting a line of questioning he says led to him falsely confessing to terrorist activities following his "extraordinary rendition" to Morocco.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of campaign group Liberty, claimed the telegrams - obtained by Mr Mohamed's lawyers through the US legal process - looked like "the smoking gun" proving British complicity in torture.

"The revelation that the UK sent interrogation questions for use on Binyam Mohamed whilst under CIA control in an undisclosed location looks like the smoking gun proving complicity in torture," she said.

Yesterday's revelations in a Sunday newspaper added to the pressure on British foreign secretary David Miliband, whose lawyers successfully persuaded two High Court judges not to publish parts of a judgment summarising Mr Mohammed's alleged ill-treatment on the basis that it would compromise the UK's intelligence-sharing structures with the US.

Mr Miliband's Lib Dem shadow, Ed Davey, said he believed the case for a judicial inquiry was now "rock solid". Conservative shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve agreed. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We abhor torture and never order it or condone it . . . In the case of Binyam Mohamed, an allegation of possible criminal wrong-doing has been referred to the attorney general. We need now to wait for her report."

While being held in Morocco Mr Mohamed claims his captors repeatedly slashed his chest and penis with a razor. Worse than the "medieval torture" endured there over 18 months, however, was his period in captivity in the first half of 2004 in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, he said.

In Kabul's "dark prison . . . the toilet in the cell was the bucket. Without light, you either find the bucket or you go on your bed.

"You got a shower once a week, with your arms chained above you, stripped naked, in the dark, with someone else washing you . . . you felt dirtier than when you went in. It wasn't a shower for washing: it was for humiliation."

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