Human Rights Watch report “Cruel Britannia: British Complicity in the Torture and Illegal Treatment of Terror Suspects’


Human Rights Watch report “Cruel Britannia: British Complicity in the Torture and Illegal Treatment of Terror Suspects” seriously undermines British Government denials of Intelligence service complicity in torture. Testimonials of Pakistani torturers included in the report allege that U.S. and British officers were “perfectly aware that we were using all means possible to extract information.”

This corroborates the statements of numerous ex-terror suspects who have come forward about their experiences. Omar Deghayes, former Guantanamo Bay detainee, describes his interrogation by British Intelligence agent, “Andrew’ and others while held illegally and subjected to torture in Pakistan and Bagram prison in Afghanistan.

His full interview, describing his first-hand experience can be viewed online:

Omar Deghayes on Torture and British Intelligence

This interview is an extract from the newly released documentary “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo’ (Spectacle 2009, Directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington) which is now available on DVD:

BUY DVD – Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

Other excerpts and extras can be found at:

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo is now available to buy on DVD

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo is now available to buy on DVD on the Spectacle Catalogue page.

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo is a new documentary film telling the story of Guantánamo, focusing on the stories of three prisoners, Shaker Aamer, Binyam Mohamed and Omar Deghayes. A powerful rebuke to the myth that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst”.

The Spectacle Catalogue page contains videos produced by Spectacle, Despite TV and others and all the titles are available to buy on both video and DVD.

Overwhelming support for Omar Deghayes account of torture

In the last few days an overwhelming amount of evidence has come to light about the complicity of British intelligence officers, and  the British government, in the torture of terror suspects.

Reporting in The Guardian, Ian Cobain has gathered a dossier of case studies and reports that support the account given to Spectacle by Omar Deghayes, a former Guantanamo detainee.

Omar Deghayes told Spectacle that he was visited numerous times by British intelligence officers while being tortured in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In a striking parallel to a case mentioned by Ian Cobain, Omar was first visited by an officer called ‘Andrew’.

From The Guardian:

‘Jamil Rahman, a British citizen from south Wales, was detained in his wife’s family’s village in northern Bangladesh in December 2005 and says he was tortured by Bangladeshi intelligence agents before being questioned by two MI5 officers who called themselves Liam and Andrew.’

The first thing Omar said to ‘Andrew’ was he was a British citizen, he then asked why the British were colluding with his maltreatment. Later on when Omar was moved to Bagram in Afghanistan, he says his torturers were given false information by British intelligence officers to further intimidate him. Furthermore  the British  interrogated him themselves in an area of the prison where they could have clearly seen prisoners being maltreated.

This claim has  now been supported by Pakistani intelligence officials who told New York based Human Rights Watch that not only were British Intelligence agents aware of torture but they were ‘grateful’ for it.

Surely it is time to stop referring to ‘claims’ of torture and admit that British officers directly used torture to gather ‘information’ from ‘terror’ suspects. Regardless whether or not they physically carried out the torture themselves this is still a crime against humanity.

To watch an edit of Omar’s torture testimony please visit Spectacle’s Guantanamo Project Page

To watch other footage from Spectacle’s Guantanamo project please visit our Archive