Human Rights groups in the UK have welcomed a criminal inquiry into whether the country’s secret services were involved in torturing a British resident. Binyam Mohamed was released from Guantanamo Bay last month after nearly seven years in detention around the world. After sifting through piles of evidence, Britain’s Attorney General took the unprecedented step of asking the police to investigate MI5.
Human-rights lawyer, Clare Algar said: “The evidence that we have very much shows that the intelligence services over here were liaising with the CIA in this matter. It’s very, very important that we look at the chain of command and at who, first of all, knew about Binyam’s interrogation, but also who instructed the intelligence services.” Binyam Mohamed was arrested in April 2002, trying to leave Pakistan on a false passport. He claimed he was tortured there by Pakistani authorities, with the connivance of British MI5 officers. The opposition leader, David Cameron MP said: “I think we will need some form of wider inquiry to find out whether the right procedures and processes were in place to prevent Britain from being complicit in torture.” Binyam Mohamed claimed he was subjected to water-boarding, and he maintained that he was asked questions that could only have come from British intelligence. Charges that he was part of an al-Qaeda plot were dropped and he was flown to the UK a free man. And though campaigners welcome the criminal investigation into MI5, some fear it is not broad enough.