Exclusive: UK intelligence services accused of complicity in torture of British citizen

Ali Adorus was subjected to electrocution, hooding and beatings during his 18 month imprisonment in Ethiopia

Britain’s intelligence and security agencies are facing claims that they were complicit in the brutal torture of a British man secretly detained in an African prison.

Ali Adorus, a security guard from east London, was subjected to electrocution, hooding and beatings during his 18 month imprisonment in Ethiopia, according to allegations made against Ethiopia and Britain to the United Nations High Commission.

Before leaving Britain to visit family in Ethiopia in 2012, Mr Adorus had complained that he had been targeted by the Metropolitan Police and the Security Service, MI5, over alleged links to Islamic extremism.

Now his lawyers say that some information contained in a false confession, which he claims was beaten out of him in an Ethiopian prison, could only have been provided by “British intelligence”. It is the latest case in which Britain has been accused of complicity in the torture of UK nationals and residents.

Mr Adorus, who has a wife and child in the UK, has been put on trial for terrorism offences in Ethiopia and if found guilty could be sentenced to death.

The Independent has seen a report written by the British embassy in Addis Ababa and sent to the Ethiopian government which raises the UK’s “grave concern” about his detention.

The document, written by officials at the embassy, names the Ethiopian senior police officer alleged to have carried out the torture. It says: “The British government takes all allegations of torture of British nationals very seriously. The treatment alleged is prohibited under international human rights treaties.”

The report adds that the failure of the Ethiopian authorities to inform the embassy of his detention is of “grave concern to the British government”. It says that he alleges he has been “handcuffed for long periods”, was “hooded and then beaten” and “was electrocuted”.

Last night his wife said: “On the surface the Foreign Office appears to be helpful; they are consistently blaming the Ethiopians for the fact nothing is moving forward.

“But without me pushing them or lawyers here pushing them, they would not visit my husband, or follow up with his medical issues or follow up on his complaint of torture.

“It seems like the British have left him at the hands of the Ethiopians to do what they want with him.”

Mr Adorus, who was born in Ethiopia before coming to the UK as a young boy, was arrested on 25 January 2013 on a bus during a family visit, and taken to a police station without any access to a lawyer. During his custody, he signed a forced confession in Amharic – a language he does not speak – after four days of beatings, he alleges.

 

He is accused by the Ethiopians of being a member of a number of terrorist groups and of waging a jihadist war since 2006. But his lawyers say the case against him is fabricated and have made a petition to the United Nations, which is now considering the complaint.

Mr Adorus, whose case has been investigated by the human rights group Cage, has a history of testicular cancer and was being monitored regularly in London. Mr Adorus and two friends had previously complained that they had been questioned by police and MI5 after returning from a safari holiday in Tanzania in 2009.

Asim Qureshi, research director of Cage, which campaigns against abuses associated with the war on terror, said: “The case of Ali Adorus is yet another example of a British citizen who was harassed by UK security services and who ends up arbitrarily detained and tortured in a third country. The UK has failed to protect him from torture.”

Last year Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, said: “We do not participate, incite, encourage or condone mistreatment or torture.”

But the complaint to the UN states: “It is alleged that intelligence officials provided direct and/or indirect assistance to the Ethiopian authorities in carrying out the arrest and torture of Mr Adorus.”

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We can confirm the detention of a British national in Ethiopia. We are providing consular assistance. We do not discuss the details of individual consular cases. The FCO takes all allegations of torture seriously.”

A spokeswoman from the Ethiopian embassy said: “We cannot comment on active cases.”

The Metropolitan Police said it was unable to comment.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Voices
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
News
people
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
News
people... and stop them from attacking people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
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

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?