Miliband forced to reveal secret torture evidence
10 Feb 2010

Miliband forced to reveal secret torture evidence in Binyam Mohamed case. Index on Censorship party to key test of open justice

Index on Censorship today hails a major victory for free expression and open justice in the UK, after the Lord Chief Justice dismissed an appeal by David Miliband seeking to conceal evidence of the torture of “war on terror” detainee Binyam Mohamed.

Index was one of several organisations party to the case, demanding the release of the materials.

In a rare ruling against the government, Lord Judge ruled that several paragraphs detailing Mohamed’s treatment in secret jails should be disclosed. The Foreign Office had claimed that revealing the suppressed details of Mohamed’s torture would endanger intelligence sharing with the US and threaten national security.

But the lengthy Court of Appeals judgement stated: “[In] principle, a real risk of serious damage to national security, of whatever degree, should not automatically trump a public interest in open justice…”

The seven redacted paragraphs describe how Mohamed was shackled during interrogation, subjected to sleep deprivation and suffered severe mental stress.

One of the paragraphs the Foreign Office attempted to conceal stated:

“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.”

John Kampfner, chief executive of Index on Censorship, commented: “The Foreign Office’s secrecy and obfuscation on this vital issue has only heightened the suspicion that Britain’s security services were complicit in the torture of a UK resident. David Miliband must now reveal the extent to which he and the cabinet were aware of this scandal.”

He added: >”National security should not be used as an excuse to censor material that is clearly in the public interest.”

Last December declassified documents revealed that the US district court considered there was credible evidence to suggest that Mohamed was tortured while being held at the request of the US in Morocco and Pakistan .

Judge Gladys Kessler’s opinion states: “Binyam Mohamed’s trauma lasted two long years. During that time, he was physically and psychologically tortured. His genitals were mutilated. He was deprived of sleep and food. He was summarily transported from one foreign prison to another. Captors held him in stress positions for days at a time. He was forced to listen to piercingly loud music and the screams of other prisoners while locked in a pitch-black cell. All the while, he was forced to inculpate himself and others in plots to imperil Americans. The [US] government does not dispute this evidence.”

Read the redacted paragraphs here

3 responses to “Miliband forced to reveal secret torture evidence”

  1. Adam says:

    I would call that corporate fascism. The corporate that influence the law’s created to suit their complex agenda.
    That agenda is to amplify terrorism so to excuse the military complex that invade countries regardless of the consequences, torture people without a human rights.
    It is high time that democracy prevails and for people to pay more attention to who is making what law and for what reason.
    Over throw politicians who are responsible by demanding their resignation when found, with criminal charges laid against them.
    Politicians are individuals who should be made responsible for unethical and criminal actions.

  2. Bill Givens says:

    For a nation which has employed our armed forces abroad at great human cost to combat human rights abuse, evil regimes and dictatorships it is a sad and damming reflection on our political establishment that torture of UK citizens has existed.
    Torture by third parties behind closed doors perhaps as a policy of choice by so called civilised democracies is yet another failure by those we trusted. We trusted them to lead by example and wage peace rather than be connected with such acts of violence and depravation.
    In the course of 5 years or so with my connection with No 10 Downing Street this travesty was one of the issues I brought up with the Prime Minister’s wife. I knew of course she was a human rights campaigner and was hoping influence could be exerted in the right quarters to address this and other issues, which were creating a dark stain on our democracy:

    5 March 2006: – To Cherie Blair

    …………..My fear for the future is that democracy has been eroding away with our hard won freedoms haemorrhaging under the new labour project. ‘Tough’ decisions are now being taken with a macho delivery to explain away further state control and interference with our lives. More control on our freedoms, a green light for the use of torture by third parties, law making by the unelected, the weakening of the judiciary, rewards for party contributors of wealth and a blind eye to declining standards in public life – now much worse than under Tory rule. Arbitrary arrest for peaceful democratic protest by lone women, old men at conference……..Politics should be making a positive difference in people’s lives with freedom, democracy and care at the heart of what is delivered. ….. To lead by example, doing the right thing and using all political resources showing that power, wealth and associated influence are used for the common good……………

    Bill Givens

    The Democracy Trust

  3. […] attempt by the Foreign Office to suppress evidence that the British security services colluded in the torture of at least one […]