Britain briefed my torturers, says ex-Guantanamo detainee

Secret telegrams show the link between US and UK officials in the case of Binyam Mohamed

Speaking for the first time since his release from Guantanamo Bay, Binyam Mohamed today claims that horrific torture he experienced while being held was directly influenced by the British Government.

Mr Mohamed, 30, a British resident, said secret telegrams sent by MI5 to the CIA show that the men responsible for his torture were being influenced by questions from the British security service in London.

He describes how, after his capture in Pakistan in 2002, he was flown to Rabat in Morocco, where his chest and genitals were repeatedly cut by Moroccan interrogators working to American instructions. The claims will add to pressure on the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, to release all the secret documents which human rights groups say will tell the full story of Britain's alleged collusion in the rendition and torture of Mr Mohamed.

Jack Straw, the Secretary of State for Justice, also faces questions over what he knew, when he was Foreign Secretary, about MI5's involvement in the US rendition. The former Guantanamo prisoner, released two weeks ago, said that his torturers were being fed specific questions relating to his movements from the years he had lived in London. Speaking from a country house in the Home Counties, where he is still recovering from his ordeal, Mr Mohamed remembers clearly the moment when MI5's questions were first channelled by his Moroccan interrogators. He said: "They started bringing British files to the interrogations – not one, but several of them, thick binders, some of them containing sheaves of photos of people who lived in London. It was obvious the British were feeding them questions about people in London."

The High Court in London has already been told that Mr Mohamed was interviewed in Pakistan by an MI5 officer who introduced himself as John. But until now the allegation against Britain was that it only ever provided background information to the Americans during his subsequent detention in Morocco.

The new evidence is contained in verbatim notes taken by Mr Mohamed when he was given access to unclassified telegrams from a separate legal action he is fighting in the US courts. One MI5 memo sent during his detention in Pakistan suggests the British saw themselves as central to his interrogation: "We believe that our knowledge of the UK scene may provide contextual background useful during any continuing interview process. This may enable individual officers to identify any inconsistencies during discussions. This will place the detainee under more direct pressure and would seem to be the most effective way of obtaining intelligence on Mohamed's activities/plans concerning the UK."

Reprieve, the legal charity representing Mr Mohamed, believes this is the first clear evidence of the UK actually volunteering to help the US to "break" Mr Mohamed. But even after his rendition to Morocco, the documents show, MI5 continued to help to direct his interrogation. In September 2002, one document reveals, MI5 received a report from the US of an interview with Mr Mohamed. He was rendered to Morocco on 21 July, so at this time he had been there for more than two months. UK officials purported not to know where he was, but they knew he was in a third country, says Reprieve.

Weeks later, on 5 November, came the strongest evidence to emerge to date of British collusion in Mr Mohamed's rendition and torture, in the form of a telegram from MI5 to the CIA. Headed "Request for further detainee questioning", it stated: "This information has been communicated in confidence to the recipient government and shall not be released without the agreement of the British government. We would be grateful if the following can be passed to... Binyam Mohamed."

It went on to ask that his interrogators show him and ask him questions about a "photobook recently sent over". Large portions of the rest of the telegram have been redacted, but it added: "We would be grateful if the following could be put to Binyam Mohamed, in addition to the questioning above. Does Mohamed know [two lines redacted]? What was the man's name? Can Mohamed describe him? Where did they meet? Where was the man from? Who facilitated his travel from the UK? Where did this man go? What were his intentions? We would appreciate the opportunity to pose further questions."

Mr Mohamed said: "When I realised that the British were co-operating with the people who were torturing me, I felt completely naked... They sold me out."

The UK Government said that it neither condones nor colludes in torture. The Foreign Office said that the US security services have threatened to stop sharing intelligence with Britain if the courts order the public disclosure of evidence relating to Mr Mohamed.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
film
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
News
video
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Infrastructure / Development Support

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunity to join a...

Recruitment Genius: Partnership Relationship Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Partnership Relationship Mana...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Developer - Xamarin

£45000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

Recruitment Genius: Student Support Assistants - Part Time & Full Time

£14600 - £17600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are passionate about sup...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore