News24

MI5, MI6 'knew of torture'

2009-02-22 21:05

London - Further accusations of involvement by Britain's security services in the torture of terrorist suspects abroad were reported in British newspapers on Sunday.

At least ten more British suspects were abused whilst in the custody of Pakistan's security services, with the knowledge of Britain's MI5 and MI6 security services, according to a forthcoming report by the group Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Leaks of the report, seen by the Mail on Sunday and Observer newspapers, cite Pakistani security service agents as saying MI5 and MI6 knew the suspects would be or had been tortured.

The revelations come in the wake of the affair of Binyam Mohamed. Mohamed, a British former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, claims he was flown to various torture centres in Pakistan, Morocco and Kabul, where he was beaten, chained and cut with razors.

According to the Mail on Sunday's report, British security agents were not directly involved in the new accounts of torture, but oversaw Pakistani colleagues carrying out abuses.

Pressure on Miliband

If true, next month's report from HRW is likely to increase the pressure on British Foreign Minister David Miliband, who has refused to publish government files on Mohamed, a 30-year-old former Ethiopian asylum seeker, who is now due to return to Britain from the US base in Cuba.

Miliband - whilst saying the British government unreservedly condemns torture - has said that the files cannot be published without US permission, and the US is threatening to end security co-operation if they are published. - Sapa-dpa