Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Torture and a British Foreign Secretary

In 2012 former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his head of MI6 Counter-terrorism Sir Mark Allen were revealed to be implicated in secret deals with Libya's former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, his head of security Moussa Koussa, and the CIA, for the illegal apprehension and rendition for torture and interrogation of selected Libyan dissidents and their families.

Belhaj. Kidnap and torture.
It remains a poisonous aspect of British foreign policy which our so-called democratic governments are desperate to conceal from press and public. 
Moussa Koussa


After two years of delaying tactics by Straw's lawyers, two cases finally reached the public domain: Abdul Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife, and that of Sami al-Saadi with his wife and four children.

 On the 30th October 2014 the Court of Appeal ruled that Belhaj had a right to sue Jack Straw, Sir Mark Allen and the British government and others for their part in the rendition of himself and his wife. 


Jack Straw argued that everything he had done was in accordance with British law. When challenged,  Tony Blair, who was Prime Minister at the time of the renditions, claimed that he could not remember the event.
Tony Blair


Three appeal judges demanded that a light be shone into dark corners of the state's work - and not for the first time. 

Time and again the Court of Appeal has maintained that allegations of wrongdoing linked to security and intelligence must be examined if the rule of law is to be upheld. 

Yet sadly for our so-called "democracy" successive governments persist with a wall of secrecy. On 8th November 2014 former Foreign Secretary and chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee Sir Malcolm Rifkind warned that an ISC inquiry into rendition and torture would not be concluded before the general election of May 2015.  He added: “Apart from that, we can’t even start on the Libyan stuff because of the police inquiries.”  

By their actions the role of Britain as an intelligence underling of the USA continues and is strengthened.

Over the last two years lawyers acting for MI6 and the Foreign Office have twisted and turned to avoid public scrutiny of events. 

Today, however, there remains no escape from the truth.

The Supreme Court has finally ruled that Straw and Sir Mark Allen must face up to the responsibility for their actions.
See Today's BBC News









1 comment: