Exclusive: MI5 stands accused of complicity in torture this year after 'trying to recruit man from Egyptian jail’

Ahmed Diini alleges he was tortured in an Egyptian jail, where he claims an MI5 officer visited him

MI5 faces claims that it has been complicit in torture as recently as this February, after a former British resident told how he was beaten by Egyptian security forces working closely with the UK.

Ahmed Diini, 25, alleges that he was questioned by a member of MI5 earlier this year while being tortured in an Egyptian prison. The claim challenges assurances given by Britain’s security and intelligence agencies last year that they no longer take part in operations where a suspect is being tortured or illegally detained by a foreign state.

In November, the head of MI5 told MPs that his officers would never participate in or condone torture.

Mr Diini, a grandson of the deposed Somalian dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, alleges that during his eight months’ imprisonment in Cairo he was shackled, hooded, repeatedly beaten, stripped and threatened that his wife would be raped. He also alleges he was threatened with electrocution and being whipped.

In a letter written from his prison cell and smuggled to his lawyer, Mr Diini says that during his detention and torture he was visited this year by a British man who, he believes, works for MI5. He says the man promised him his freedom if he agreed to work for the security service.

Ahmed Diini alleges he was tortured in an Egyptian jail, where he claims an MI5 officer visited him Ahmed Diini alleges he was tortured in an Egyptian jail, where he claims an MI5 officer visited him

Mr Diini, who is a Dutch national but has two daughters living in the UK, refused the offer. He claims he was first targeted by MI5 when he lived in Birmingham between 2006 and 2011 and felt so worried that he complained to the media about his harassment.

In his letter to his lawyer, Andre Seebregts, in which he details his torture, he says: “I also want to inform you that on 17 February 2014 something very strange happened. I am now 100 per cent sure that the British secret service are part of this trouble, because I met one of their secret service agents who tried to induce me to work with them in exchange for my freedom. He visited me here in prison, a white Brit with a Londonish accent. He told me my Dutch government is not capable of doing anything for me.”

Mr Diini, who was arrested by the Egyptian security agency a few weeks after the military deposed the government of the Muslim Brotherhood last year, says that the British agent interviewed him for half an hour, ending the conversation by saying: “I will be back so make your decision wisely, it’s your freedom.” Two days after this meeting he claims his Egyptian guards made him watch a man tied against a wooden cross being whipped with a rubber hose.

CAGE, which campaigns against abuses associated with the war on terror, and which has led investigations into Ahmed Diini’s case for eight months, says this is the most compelling evidence of British complicity in torture since 2008. The case is now being investigated by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Asim Qureshi, research director at CAGE UK, said: “The case of Ahmed Diini raises serious questions over the Government’s treatment of the Somali community.  The MI5 harassment he was subjected to over here echoes the testimonies of many other Somali youngsters.”

He added: “The alleged British involvement in his detention and torture in Egypt shows that, sadly, our Government has not changed its ways.”

Mr Diini is the grandson of former Somalian dictator Mohamed Siad Barre Mr Diini is the grandson of former Somalian dictator Mohamed Siad Barre (AFP)

Ahmed Diini left the UK to marry a German woman in 2011 but while he was away he was served with an exclusion order signed by the Home Secretary, who accused him of being involved in Islamic extremism. Unable to return to the UK he took his wife and children to live in Egypt. In March this year he was freed by the Egyptians without charge but on his way back to Holland he was arrested in Istanbul on a US arrest warrant. He is currently in prison in Turkey awaiting further requests from America which has accused him of being a member of al Shabaab, the Somalia-based terrorist organisation.

Mr Diini’s family escaped Somalia when he was three and he has not been back. He first settled in Holland and is a Dutch national but he had moved to Britain where he had studied and worked as a security guard at a school.

On Monday his younger brother, Mahamuud Diini, 24, who lives in Birmingham, told The Independent: “I believe that the MI5 officers by their actions and omissions were complicit in the detention, abuse and torture my brother suffered in Egypt.”

He added: “I saw how my brother’s life was made miserable by MI5 when he lived in the UK and how they continued to make life difficult for him while he was in Egypt. My brother has never had anything to do with al Shabaab.”

A spokesman for the Egyptian embassy in London said the allegations would be investigated but was unable to comment. MI5 declined to comment on the case.

Torture allegations: timeline

2001: British terror suspects and enemy combatants  captured in Afghanistan by US forces are flown to  Guantanamo. Some are held first at the US Bagram air base near Kabul. Many claim that the UK was involved in their rendition and torture.

2005: Jack Straw tells the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee: “Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States… there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition.”

2010: UK Government pays Guantanamo detainees up  to £20m in return for  dropping their claims of  British complicity in torture and rendition.

The detention centre at Guantanamo was established in January 2002 (Getty) The detention centre at Guantanamo was established in January 2002 (Getty)

2011: Tony Blair tells the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “When our security services were co-operating with  other countries in fighting terrorism they were  absolutely right. They were doing a great job. Of course they should not break the rules or engage in torture but they were engaged in protecting our country. As a result we have significantly reduced the risk.”

2012: Ministers agree to pay more than £2m to the family of a prominent Libyan  dissident abducted with the help of MI6 and secretly flown to Tripoli where he was tortured by the security police of the dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

2013: The Gibson inquiry into UK complicity in torture and rendition concludes that the British government and its intelligence agencies had been involved in rendition operations, in which  detainees were kidnapped and flown around the globe, and had interrogated  detainees whom they knew were being mistreated.

2013: Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6, tells MPs: “We have learned a huge amount over the past 12 years. There is no way that our members of staff could be drawn into  situations, at this stage, where there is any doubt about what they should be doing.”

2013: Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, tells the same group of MPs: “We do not participate, incite, encourage or condone mistreatment or torture and that is absolute.”

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
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
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
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

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
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
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
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