Three Britons have confessed to terror charges, say Yemenis
Saturday 30 January 1999
The three, who surrendered to police on Wednesday after being surrounded for two days in mountains in eastern Yemen, were captured with three other men: a French national of Algerian origin, an Algerian and a Yemeni. They will join five other Britons and an Algerian for trial today in the southern port of Aden, after security sources said they had also admitted to charges of associating with armed groups, forming a plan to commit murder and destruction, and possessing weapons.
Last night, campaigners for the British prisoners - all Muslims from Birmingham, Luton and London - called the confessions "worthless" and said they had been elicited through torture.
Claims of torture emerged on Wednesday when the five Britons - Malik Nasser, 26, Samad Ahmed, 21, Shahid Butt, 33, Gulam Hussain, 25, from Luton, Malik Nasser, 26, and one Algerian man arrested on 24 December - appeared in court looking distressed andshowing bruises and cuts. Amid scenes of near-chaos, they claimed they had been sexually abused and electrocuted with cattle-prods. They have now withdrawn their confessions.
So far the Yemenis have denied access to doctors wishing to check the men's condition.
Mohammed Latif, a barrister, and Dr Christopher Milroy, a Home Office pathologist and specialist in investigating torture, were due to fly to Yemen today to see the men, together with Mr Ahmed's father.
The Yemenis were last night reported to be blocking any further visa requests to foreign nationals. This is being interpreted as an attempt to stop the Britons' families gathering support in Yemen.
Relatives of the accused already in Yemen yesterday wrote to the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, asking him to intervene. In their letter they repeated claims of torture.
"The trial as presently set up represents a flagrant breach of the Yemeni constitution, the code of criminal procedure and international law," they said. "In their anxiety to have a swift trial the Yemeni authorities are organising a kangaroo court, where the defendants have no chance to answer or refute the prosecution allegations."
The Foreign Office refused to comment on the letter, as it was "private correspondence", but said the torture allegations were being taken seriously. "We have asked for an explanation and investigation at the highest levels," a spokesman said.
The Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, yesterday claimed the Britons were paid $2,000 by the London-based Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to carry out the attacks in Yemen with promises of a further $10,000. He repeated calls for Mr Masri's extradition to Yemen, a difficult move because Britain and Yemen have no extradition treaty.
Fergal Keane, Review, page 3
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Argentina may change its capital city from Buenos Aires, says president
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 The 3D-printed key that can unlock anything
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Sir Paul McCartney makes his stance on Scottish independence known
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior SQL DBA...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Web Develop...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...