Briton to sue for MI5 torture claim
Man detained in Bangladesh claims UK government was complicit in alleged torture.
Last Modified: 27 May 2009 12:29 GMT
Jacqui Smith faces legal action over Rahman's allegations of torture [GETTY/GALLO]

A British man who was detained in Bangladesh has threatened legal action against the UK government, saying its security services were complicit in his torture.

Jamil Rahman, a former civil servant, claims he was beaten and tortured over two years by Bangladeshi officers, to which he says a pair of MI5 agents turned a blind eye.

His lawyers have written to Britain's home office saying they plan to sue Jacqui Smith, the interior minister, for complicity in assault, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and breaches of human rights.

Rahman's case is the latest in a series of claims accusing British agents of colluding in the torture of their own citizens.

In March, the UK launched a criminal investigation into claims that MI5 was complicit in the torture of Binyam Mohamed, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, in Pakistan.

Rahman, 31, grew up in Britain but settled in Bangladesh in 2005, after marrying a woman he met while travelling there.

'Threatened rape'

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Rahman said he and his wife were arrested in Bangladesh in December 2005, on suspicion of "terrorist offences".

Over three weeks of interrogation, he agreed to make taped confessions to offences, including being the "mastermind" behind the July 2005 suicide bombings in London, that killed 52 people.

He was then questioned by two MI5 agents and told them the confessions were false, the paper said.

Shortly after, they left the room and Rahman says he was beaten and told his wife would be raped.

He said that after his release he was often summoned for interrogations by MI5 and Bangladeshi officials over the next two years.

Legal proceedings

Lawyers for Rahman, who returned to Britain in May last year, claim to have evidence including eyewitness testimony and medical information.

The Briton embarked on legal proceedings after his wife and son arrived in the country last week.

Britain's home office has confirmed it received a letter from Rahman's lawyers, and said it would respond in due course.

A spokesman for the department said the British government "unreservedly condemns the use of torture as a matter of fundamental principle and works hard with its international partners to eradicate this abhorrent practice worldwide".

"The security and intelligence agencies do not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or inhumane or degrading treatment," he said.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list