Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Fabricating Terrorism III: British complicity in rendition and torture

Written by Asim Qureshi
www.cageprisoners.com


Cageprisoners releases the latest update on the report Fabricating Terrorism. This study will be presented to the UK inquiry into British complicity in rendition and torture.


Fabricating Terrorism III can be downloaded here.

Over the past eight years, human rights watchdogs, researchers and lawyers recorded a disturbing number of cases involving individuals whose common experiences of detention without charge, illegal transportations to other states without recourse to due process, abuse and torture has pointed to a systematic violation of international laws. The evidence directly implicates the US administration which while denying involvement in torture, partly by redefining its meaning, has admitted that it is overseeing an ‘outsourcing’ process of intelligence gathering in which terrorism suspects are being rendered or transferred for interrogation to countries experienced and cognisant of the cultural needs of the detainees.

However, the role of British authorities in this programme has still to be fully revealed. On numerous occasions Government representatives have denied any involvement in the transfer of individuals (rendition) and torture. As the evidence continues to mount it has become apparent that an international chain of abuse, links both the US and UK administrations to breaches of international human rights conventions.

After 9/11, under the slogan ‘War on Terror’, there were moves to prioritise national ‘security measures’ over human rights and civil liberties with the ratification of legislation such as the Patriot Act in the USA. Additionally, international alliances were forged involving countries which ranged from the expected, to the startling. A picture of systematic cooperation between the West, Eastern Europe, Asian sub-continent and the Middle East emerged which would allow terrorism suspects to be ‘fast-tracked’ and undergo a variety of illegal interrogation techniques, in order to crush the threat of global terrorism. Evidence is emerging that in waging this war, fabricated accounts of terrorist acts produced through forced or coerced confessions have been used to justify a whole raft of anti-terror legislation, and the illegal actions which are described in this report.

The Cageprisoners’ report entitled ‘Fabricating Terrorism III: British Complicity in Renditions and Torture’ is an update of the previous reports Fabricating Terrorism and Fabricating Terrorism II. The original report was compiled using evidence ranging from the testimonies of detainees, existing interviews with officials in the security services, and research.

The updated reports focus on the British Government which sees itself as a leader in the field of human rights, in recent years ratifying the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) in 2003, questioning whether its commitment to human rights is as strong as its commitment to the USA, and in the process challenging official government denials in regard to rendition and torture.

One of the key features of Fabricating Terrorism III, is the case of Farid Hilali. The case demonstrates that the UK security/intelligence officials were complicit in the rendition and torture of individuals as early as two years prior to 9/11. This fact suggests that the unlawful activities of the UK authorities are systematic, rather than rare abuses.

Below there are 31 case studies mostly detailing the experiences of British citizens and British residents granted asylum which illustrate the manner in which they have passed through a subterranean system of kidnappings, being ghosted to ‘black sites’ and suffering false imprisonment, abuse and torture during the process. Due to the constraints of space and time these examples represent a much larger number of cases, often undocumented. They illustrate issues of illegality that stem from current British policy on detentions in the ‘War on Terror’ a term itself abandoned but which remains a de facto reality. The aim of this report is to illuminate a path along which all the other detentions are discovered so that the true extent of British involvement in such practices can be highlighted.

http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/reports/item/1063-fabricating-terrorism-iii-british-complicity-in-rendition-and-torture

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