Ex-detainee sues UK for role in his rendition
Wednesday 29 July 2009
A former Guantanamo Bay detainee has launched legal action against the Government for its alleged role in his "extraordinary rendition".
Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni, a Pakistani citizen, said a CIA flight carrying him to Egypt refuelled on the British Indian Ocean island territory of Diego Garcia.
Mr Madni said he was taken from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, in January 2002 and flown to Cairo, where he was tortured over a three-month period. He said the electric shocks used by his torturers has left him "severely disabled".
He was later flown to the US camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where he was held for six years before being freed. The US claimed he was a member of al-Qa'ida, but no charges were brought and he was released last year.
Lawyers for the 31-year-old are demanding to know the full details of Britain's role in the rendition process. They say it is "inconceivable" that the Government did not approve the use of Diego Garcia for rendition flights.
Clive Stafford Smith of the legal charity Reprieve said: "Rendition is kidnap, pure and simple, and there is a very serious principle at stake here. The British Government cannot admit its involvement in a crime, then refuse to identify the victims and affirmatively block others from trying to reunite them with their legal rights.
"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."
In February last year, Foreign Secretary David Miliband admitted that two US rendition flights transporting terrorist suspects had landed on UK soil, after years of denials.
Mr Miliband said the two flights to Diego Garcia had come to light as a result of investigations in the US, having previously been overlooked due to an "administrative error".
Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rendition, said the "drip drip" of allegations about rendition was "hugely damaging". He called for the Government to launch an independent inquiry.
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