British MPs to consider torture allegations of MI5 detainees

In 2007, British newspaper The Guardian disclosed that several Pakistani “war on terror” detainees in Pakistan were severely tortured by Pakistani intelligence agents before being interrogated by British security officers. Nearly two years after the revelations, a joint British Parliament committee has agreed to consider the allegations. On Tuesday, February 3, the British Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights will hear evidence that interrogators with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) brutally tortured a number of prisoners before handing them over to interrogators working for MI5, Britain’s foremost counterintelligence agency. In exposing the story in 2007, The Guardian suggested that the MI5 agents were aware of the torture, which involved severe beatings, fingernail extractions, and even physical threats with electric drills. Several prisoners, who were tortured at ISI’s secret interrogation facility in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, reported being interrogated afterwards “by people speaking English, with British and American accents”. Among the witnesses at tomorrow’s committee hearing will be Brad Adams, Asia Director for Human Rights Watch, who claims that “the British government knew full well the techniques the ISI and Pakistani law enforcement agencies use in interrogations, particularly in terror investigations”. It will be up to the members of the Joint Committee on Human Rights to decide whether to pursue further hearings on the torture allegations.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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