Charity questions UK over rendition

A legal advocacy group sought today to compel Britain's government to investigate a Pakistani man's claim that he was aboard an extraordinary rendition flight that made a refueling stop in Diego Garcia, a British island in the Indian Ocean.

Reprieve said it is preparing to file a lawsuit at the High Court demanding a judicial review of the government decision to refrain from examining Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni's allegation that he was one of two terrorism suspects transferred through the British territory.

The group confirmed it also will take legal action in the United States, as part of a suit dealing with the case of another Guantanamo detainee, Shafiq Rasul, to allege that Madni's rendition in January 2002 was a criminal act.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told lawmakers last year that the previous U.S. administration belatedly informed him two detainees were aboard rendition flights that stopped on the island in 2002. Miliband and his predecessors had earlier denied that Diego Garcia had been used in extraordinary rendition.

Miliband did not name the suspects aboard the flights, but said one was bound for Guantanamo Bay and another to Morocco. He later confirmed that the detainee sent to Guantanamo Bay had been subsequently released.

Reprieve believes Madni was on one of the flights. He was detained in Indonesia in January 2002, and sent to Guantanamo Bay via Egypt, where he alleges he was tortured for 92 days.

Madni, a 31-year-old who lives in Lahore, Pakistan, was released from Guantanamo in August 2008 without charge.

Reprieve said that, based on an assessment of flight records and details of those who were detained in 2002 and released in 2008, it believes Madni was almost certainly aboard a flight that refueled in Diego Garcia. Lawyers say that he recalls a 30-minute stop during his journey, which they claim would be consistent with a landing on the island.

Madni alleges that while held in Egypt, his captors gave him electric shocks with a cattle prod and forced him to drink liquids which he says were laced with drugs.

"During the interrogation they tortured me by electric shock in my knees. As a result of that torture, since I have come back to Pakistan I can't walk," Madni said, speaking by telephone from Lahore. He said his nervous system has been damaged.

Madni denies any links to terrorism and claimed that while held in Bagram, Afghanistan, U.S. officials acknowledged they had detained him mistakenly but told him he needed to go to Guantanamo to win his release. U.S. officials said he was in the "wrong place at the wrong time," Madni claims.

"Mr. Madni suffers serious physical and psychological injuries as a result of his rendition to torture, yet has never had so much as an apology from his abusers. He is happy finally to be free, but wants to launch this action to ensure that no one is forced to suffer in this way in future," said Reprieve Director Clive Stafford Smith.

Britain's Foreign Office said that it has received a letter from Reprieve notifying it about the planned legal action.

"We are considering our response," the Foreign Office said in a statement.

In January, in response to a lawmaker's written question about the flights, the Foreign Office said it had considered "the possibility that criminal offenses may have been committed in relation to the two rendition flights," but had only limited information, and had not been able to establish sufficient details to investigate.

"We have made our disappointment about these flights clear with the U.S. and secured firm new assurances that on no other occasion since Sept. 11, 2001, has a U.S. intelligence flight with a detainee on board passed through U.K. territory," a spokeswoman said Tuesday, on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

The administration of former President George W. Bush was widely criticized for its practice of extraordinary rendition, whereby the CIA transferred suspects overseas for interrogation. Human rights advocates claim the policy allowed the agency to outsource torture of prisoners to countries where it is permitted. Several former prisoners have alleged they were tortured.

President Barack Obama pledged in January to review the policy.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash