View Full Version : MI5 Officers "Outsourced The Torture Of British Nationals To Pakistani Agencies"

07-16-2008, 08:45 AM
MI5 officers 'outsourced the torture of British nationals to Pakistani agencies'


By Lucy Cockcroft
Last Updated: 6:44AM BST 15/07/2008

MPs have called for an investigation into allegations that MI5 officers "outsourced" the torture of British citizens to Pakistani security agencies.

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, and Andrew Tyrie, Conservative member for Chichester, have said that the reports of abuse must be examined by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which oversees the security agencies.

A Home Office official has said that MI5 agents "do not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or inhumane or degrading treatment."

But details of three new alleged abuse cases have raised concerns for Mr McDonnell and Mr Tyrie.

Mr McDonnell said one of his constituents, a male medical student, claims to have been abducted at gunpoint in 2005 and held for two months at the offices of Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau, which stands opposite the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi.

He said he was then whipped, beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with execution.

The student had been held as part of investigations into the suicide attacks in July that year, and claims he was questioned by British intelligence officers after being tortured by Pakistani agents. He was then released to his father.

Mr McDonnell said: "I believe there is now sufficient evidence from this and other cases to demonstrate that British officials outsourced the torture of British nationals to a Pakistani intelligence agency."

Another British man, Tariq Mahmood, 35, a taxi driver from Birmingham, also claims he was abducted in Rawalpindi in October 2003 with the knowledge and collusion of MI5 agents and released without charge five months later.

A third British national to make claims against Pakistani agents is 41-year-old author Tahir Shah from London. He says he was held against his will for 16 days in 2005 and interrogated about the July 7 bombings. He does not claim MI5 were involved in his mistreatment, but he believes they were informed of the situation.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The 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 ISC gave the Security Service a clean bill of health in its 2005 report on torture."