This video from Australia is about Australian Mamdouh Habib, released without charge after years in torture prisons of the United States government and the Egyptian Mubarak dictatorship.
By Richard Phillips in Australia:
“All those involved in my treatment should be jailed for war crimes”
9 February 2011
On December 17, the Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard signed an out-of-court settlement with former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib to end his legal action over the Australian government’s complicity in his illegal detention, extraordinary rendition, and torture by officials from the United States, Pakistan and Egypt between 2001 and 2005.
The government’s sudden decision came after 54-year-old Habib presented its lawyers with testimony from a former Egyptian military intelligence officer, and from ex-detainee Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni, who was incarcerated with Habib in Egypt and at Guantánamo Bay.
Habib was seized by Pakistani police in October 2001, just after the September 11 terror attacks in the United States. Interrogated for three weeks, he was then rendered to Egypt, where he was incarcerated for seven months. During this time, he was systematically tortured and then transferred, via Afghanistan, to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was finally released and repatriated to Australia without charge in January 2005.
From the outset, the former Liberal-National government of Prime Minister John Howard claimed it had no knowledge of Habib’s rendition from Pakistan to Egypt. When news began to filter out in 2002 that Habib was imprisoned in Egypt, the government, backed by the Labor Party Opposition, rejected outright any investigation. Instead, senior government ministers consistently accused Habib of being an “Islamic terrorist”.
Department of Foreign Affairs media officers were directed to tell journalists that the government had no knowledge about the Australian’s kidnapping, but they had recently received “credible advice that [Habib] is well and being treated well”.
Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers claimed to have had no contact with Habib in Egypt. A spokeswoman for then attorney general Philip Ruddock told reporters that, “No Australian official, including ASIO, was ever provided with access to Mr Habib [in Egypt].”
Ruddock continued to insist, even up until a few days before the Australian’s release, that Washington had enough evidence to try Habib in a Guantánamo Bay military kangaroo court.
Questioned in February 2005, then foreign minister Alexander Downer conceded that Habib “may have been tortured” in Egypt, but denied that any Australian officials were present.
Habib’s legal case for compensation was strenuously opposed by the Howard government and the subsequent Labor administrations of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. All of them tried to quash the case and protect those involved in the crimes perpetrated against Habib.
The Gillard government has now initiated an inquiry by the Inspector-General of Security and Intelligence (IGIS) into actions taken by Australian intelligence agencies against the Australian citizen. The inquiry, which will be held in secret, is designed to maintain the cover-up.
Under the terms of the legal settlement, Habib cannot disclose the amount of his compensation payment. He has, however, provided the WSWS access to some of the damning testimony that compelled the government to produce its sudden offer.
The former Egyptian intelligence officer, who was employed at the prison where Habib was incarcerated, categorically states that “each nationality” had embassy, intelligence and medical officials at the Egyptian prison facilities where their rendered citizens were imprisoned.
US government is backing Omar Suleiman who “tortured Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib himself”: here.
The “Save Shaker Aamer” Tour: Eight New UK Screenings of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo,” February and March 2011: here.
Human rights campaigners condemned the ongoing incarceration of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held at Guantanamo Bay, as a “mockery of justice” today: here.
NAIROBI – A case filed before an African judicial body could open a new front in efforts by human rights groups to hold the CIA and its partners accountable for what they allege was the torture of innocent victims in secret “black site” prisons around the world: here.
Britain: MPs refused the facts on UK’s part in rendition cases. The Government is accused of avoiding disclosure about Britain’s role in extraordinary rendition: here.
Israel, Extraordinary Rendition and the Strange Case of Dirar Abu Sisi. Richard Silverstein, Truthout: “The gag [order] also prevented Israelis from knowing that Abu Sisi was jailed, what the charges brought against him were or what conditions he was being held under. I was especially concerned, because during such secret detentions the Israeli security service is often accused of torturing suspects to procure confessions, which are then used against them in court… Of course, all of this is speculation because the national security state prefers to operate in the dark, prefers opacity. We can only look forward to a day when extraordinary rendition and the other favored tactics of such a state are as discredited as the lynchings and apartheid of a bygone era”: here.