The Great Debate UK
-Padraig Reidy is news editor at Britain’s Index on Censorship an organisation promoting freedom of expression. The opinions expressed are his own.-
The Court of Appeal’s decision on Wednesday to release material relating to the torture of “war on terror” detainee Binyam Mohamed is undoubtedly an embarrassment for David Miliband, the Foreign Office and the government.
The redacted evidence, itself a mere seven paragraphs, revealed reports that Mohamed, who has never been charged with any terror offence, was shackled during interrogation, subjected to sleep deprivation and suffered severe mental stress.
The paragraphs did not reveal any evidence of direct British intelligence involvement in torture, though the judges made it clear in the last paragraph: “The treatment reported, if had been administered on behalf of the United Kingdom, would clearly have been in breach of the undertakings given by the United Kingdom in 1972. Although it is not necessary for us to categorise the treatment reported, it could readily be contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of BM by the United States authorities.”
- Moazzam Begg is Director for the British organisation, Cageprisoners. The opinions expressed are his own. -
Little seems to have changed regarding the treatment of prisoners held at the U.S. military-run Bagram prison since I was there (2002-2004). The recent study conducted by the BBC shows allegations of sleep deprivation, stress positions, beatings, degrading treatment, religious and racial abuse have gone unabated. On a personal level though, I can’t help wonder if British intelligence services are still involved.
- Daniel Gorevan is head of Amnesty International‘s Counter Terror with Justice campaign. The opinions expressed are his own. -
Tony Blair’s government reportedly advised MI5 officers that the UK must not be “seen to condone” torture. However, evidence is mounting that British agents knowingly exploited torture perpetrated by others.
- Cori Crider represents 30 Guantánamo prisoners as an attorney with legal charity Reprieve. The opinions expressed are her own. -
You would be hard-pressed to find a kid more thrilled on Barack Obama’s first day in office than Mohammed el Gharani. On January 21, had you been standing at the right corner of Guantanamo Bay, you could have heard him whoop for joy when the U.S. President made history—so we thought—by closing the prison where el Gharani grew up.