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UK accused of outsourcing torture
British opposition MP says government helped set up torture of suspect in Pakistan.
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2009 09:03 GMT
Davis says the British government let Pakistan's
ISI arrest and torture Ahmed [AP]

A British opposition politician has accused the government and intelligence agencies of colluding in the torture of a British terrorism suspect whose interrogation was "outsourced" to Pakistan.   

David Davis, a Conservative MP, said the government had helped set up the torture and abuse of suspect Rangzieb Ahmed at the hands of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI).

"A more obvious case of outsourcing of torture, a more obvious case of passive rendition, I cannot imagine," Davis, a former spokesman on home affairs issues, told parliament late on Monday, according to the Press Association.

The government dismissed Davis's accusations, saying he was presenting unsubstantiated allegations as fact.

Ivan Lewis, the foreign office minister, said the government was clear in its opposition to torture.

"It is an abhorrent crime and we are fundamentally opposed to it. That principle guides all the government's work, including the intelligence services and the armed forces," Lewis said.

UK 'complicity'

Ahmed, a British national, was allowed to travel to Pakistan in 2006, even though he was suspected of involvement in terrorism offences and was under surveillance by British police.

The ISI was alerted, Davis said, and its agents detained Ahmed, who was beaten and tortured, including having three of his fingernails extracted during 13 months in custody.

British agents also questioned him during that time and supplied questions to the ISI for the interrogations, Davis said.

"He should have been arrested by the UK in 2006. He was not. The authorities knew that he intended to travel to Pakistan, so they should have prevented that. Instead, they suggested the ISI arrest him.

"They knew he would be tortured, and they organised to construct a list of questions and provide it to ISI," Davis said.

Ahmed was eventually returned to Britain and jailed for life last year after being found guilty of membership of al-Qaeda and directing a terrorist cell. He is currently appealing his conviction.

Source:
Agencies
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