UN attacks Britain on torture

This video says about itself:

Craig Murray, ex-British ambassador to Uzbekistan talks about Uzbekistan and British governments’ complicity in torture.

From British weekly The Observer:

UN attacks Britain over torture claims

Investigator raises ‘very clear allegations’ that MI5 broke international law

* Mark Townsend

* Sunday 1 March 2009

Britain may have broken international law on torture, ministers have been warned by the United Nations. Professor Manfred Nowak, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, has alerted ministers to a range of concerns, including claims that MI5 officers were complicit in the maltreatment of suspects.

The Austrian law professor warned that Britain has breached the UN convention on torture, and he revealed that he was organising a fact-finding mission to Pakistan, whose security services allegedly tortured terror suspects before the captives were questioned by British intelligence.

See also here.

5 thoughts on “UN attacks Britain on torture

  1. Uzbekistan, NATO reach Afghanistan deal

    Updated: Wednesday, 25 Feb 2009, 7:17 AM EST
    Published : Wednesday, 25 Feb 2009, 7:16 AM EST

    * By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer

    MOSCOW (AP) – Uzbekistan has reached an agreement with NATO allowing the alliance to send non-military supplies through the Central Asian nation en route to Afghanistan, news agencies quoted the Uzbek president as saying Wednesday.

    A U.S. military official last week said a tentative agreement had been reached, but there had been no confirmation until the statement by President Islam Karimov, which was reported by the Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies.

    Most supplies for the international military operation in Afghanistan have gone by land through Pakistan, a route whose security is increasingly undermined by attacks.

    This new northern transit route goes from Western Europe through Russia and Kazakhstan before reaching Uzbekistan. A rail spur from Uzbekistan extends a short distance into Afghanistan.

    A shipment of U.S. non-military supplies that left Latvia last week is now in Uzbekistan, the RIA-Novosti news agency said Wednesday, citing an unnamed official from Kazakhstan’s Emergency Situations Ministry.

    The agreement on transit through Uzbekistan comes amid mixed signals from Russia and former Soviet Central Asian states about cooperating with the military operation against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Kyrgyzstan’s president Kurmanbek Bakiyev last week signed an order to evict the United States from a military base that has been a key support facility for the Afghanistan campaign. The Manas base is home to tanker planes that refuel military aircraft over Afghanistan and is a transit point for thousands of troops and hundreds of tons of supplies going into and out of Afghanistan every month.

    The closure order followed Russia’s granting impoverished Kyrgyzstan more than $2 billion in loans and aid. Officials in both countries deny the moves were linked, but many analysts disagree.

    At the same time, however, Russia agreed to let the U.S. send Afghanistan-bound non-lethal materiel by rail and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested Russia could eventually agree to allow weapons shipments.

    Uzbekistan evicted the United States from a base in 2005 after coming under heavy criticism from Washington and the West over the government’s violent suppression of an uprising in the city of Andijan. But Karimov, whose regime harshly suppresses opposition and independent media, has recently indicated a desire to end the rift with the West.

    Copyright Associated Press


  2. Sorry this is off topic, but an urgent plea for help from Craig Murray, very easy to do from http://www.craigmurray.org.uk :

    Your Help Needed – Reveal Torture to Stop It

    On Tuesday 10 March the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights will discuss whether or not to hear my evidence on the UK government’s policy of using intelligence from torture. They discussed whether to hear my evidence on 3 March but failed to reach a conclusion.

    The government is lobbying hard for my exclusion. I need everybody to send an email to jchr@parliament.uk to urge that I should be heard. If you are able to add some comment on the import of my evidence, or indicate that you have heard me speak or read my work, that may help. Please copy your email to craigjmurray@tiscali.co.uk.

    Please also pass on this plea to anyone you can and urge them to act. Help from other bloggers in posting this appeal would be much appreciated…

    The key points I wish to make are these:

    – I was British Ambassador in Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004.
    – I learned and confirmed that I was regularly seeing intelligence from detainees in the Uzbek torture chambers, sent me by the CIA via MI6.
    – British Ministers and officials were seeing the same torture material.
    – In October/November 2002 and January/Februray 2003 I sent two Top Secret telegrams to London specifically on the subject of our receipt of intelligence gained under torture. I argued this was illegal, immoral and impractical. The telegrams were speciifically marked for the Secretary of State.
    – I was formally summoned back to the FCO for a meeting held on 7 or 8 March 2003 specifically and solely on the subject of intelligence gained under torture. Present were Linda Duffield, Director Wider Europe, FCO, Sir Michael Wood, Chief Legal Adviser, FCO, and Matthew Kydd, Head of Permanent Under-Secretary’s Department, FCO.
    – This meeting was minuted. I have seen the record, which is classified Top Secret and was sent to Jack Straw. On the top copy are extensive hand-written marginalia giving Jack Straw’s views.
    – I was told at this meeting that it is not illegal for us to obtain intelligence gained by torture, provided that we did not do the torture ourselves. I was told that it had been decided that as a matter of War on Terror policy we should now obtain intelligence from torture, following discussion between Jack Straw and Richard Dearlove. I was told that we could not exclude receipt of specific material from the CIA without driving a coach and horses through the universality principle of the UK/US intelligence sharing agreement, which would be detrimental to UK interests.
    – Sir Michael Wood’s legal advice that it was not illegal to receive intelligence got by torture was sent on to me in Tashkent (copy attached).
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/documents/Wood.pdf- On 22 July 2004

    I sent one further telegram on intelligence got by torture, with a lower classification, following FCO communications on the subject. Copy attached.

    Click to access Telegram.pdf

    It was my final communication before being dismissed as Ambassador.

    In conclusion, I can testify that beyond any doubt the British government has for at least six years a considered but secret policy of cooperation with torture abroad. This policy legally cleared by government legal advisers and approved by Jack Straw as Secretary of State.”

    The Uzbeks used to put detainees arms and bodies in vats of boiling water, amongst other things. Jack Straw thought that was really great. Let’s get the bastard back.


  3. Photographer faces jail for film

    Uzbekistan Photographer Umida Akhmedova has said that the government has charged her with “slandering the dignity” of the people after she made a documentary about life in the country.

    Ms Akhmedova said that a “panel of experts” had declared that her work “showed Uzbek people as uncultured, and left a negative impression on those who saw it and who were unfamiliar with Uzbek traditions.”

    The journalist could face three years in prison if found guilty of the charges.



  4. Pingback: Tony Blair torture scandal revelations | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Joschka Fischer, from Green to wars and Big Oil | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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