Den britiske regering vidste alt om tortur
Den tidligere britiske ambassadør i Uzbekistan Craig Murray har på sin hjemmeside offentliggjort en række fortrolige dokumenter, der beviser, at den britiske regering gang på gang blev gjort opmærksom på, at fanger i Uzbekistan torteret mere eller mindre sønder og sammen i "terrorbekæmpelsens" navn (og derfor med amerikanernes fulde velsignelse).
Dokumenterne - der samtidig er offentliggjort på en lang række weblogs verden over - viser den britiske regerings stiltiende accept af en nær allierets åbenlyse brug af tortur - en praksis, den britiske regering ellers har haft meget travlt med at benægte.
Nogle af Murrays dokumenter er indberetninger fra ambassadøren i Tashkent til det britiske udenrigsministerium, og røber en stigende intensitet i ambassadørens forsøg på at få regeringen til at erkende, at man har et problem her, kulminerende i en indberetning fra juli 2004:
SUBJECT: RECEIPT OF INTELLIGENCE OBTAINED UNDER TORTURESå: Uzbekerne torterer lystigt og meget brutalt, amerikanerne applauderer åbenlyst og briterne ser på deres fødder (og lyver om det til offentligheden, der ikke kan ventes at udvise lige så stor forståelse som det britiske udenrigsministerium gør under hånden).
1. We receive intelligence obtained under torture from the Uzbek intelligence services, via the US. We should stop. It is bad information anyway. Tortured dupes are forced to sign up to confessions showing what the Uzbek government wants the US and UK to believe, that they and we are fighting the same war against terror.
2. I gather a recent London interdepartmental meeting considered the question and decided to continue to receive the material. This is morally, legally and practically wrong. It exposes as hypocritical our post Abu Ghraib pronouncements and fatally undermines our moral standing. It obviates my efforts to get the Uzbek government to stop torture they are fully aware our intelligence community laps up the results.
3. We should cease all co-operation with the Uzbek Security Services they are beyond the pale. We indeed need to establish an SIS presence here, but not as in a friendly state.
9. I understand that the meeting decided to continue to obtain the Uzbek torture material. I understand that the principal argument deployed was that the intelligence material disguises the precise source, ie it does not ordinarily reveal the name of the individual who is tortured. Indeed this is true – the material is marked with a euphemism such as "From detainee debriefing." The argument runs that if the individual is not named, we cannot prove that he was tortured.
10. I will not attempt to hide my utter contempt for such casuistry, nor my shame that I work in an organisation where colleagues would resort to it to justify torture. I have dealt with hundreds of individual cases of political or religious prisoners in Uzbekistan, and I have met with very few where torture, as defined in the UN convention, was not employed. When my then DHM raised the question with the CIA head of station 15 months ago, he readily acknowledged torture was deployed in obtaining intelligence. I do not think there is any doubt as to the fact.
13. Nonetheless, I repeat that this material is useless – we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful. It is designed to give the message the Uzbeks want the West to hear.
The Register har også lidt om sagen:
Former ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has harnessed the Internet in his long-running feud with the UK Government. A forthcoming book covering his time as ambassador is currently being blocked by the Foreign Office, which has demanded he remove references to two documents from the book and his web site. Murray has responded by publishing the documents in full there, and by encouraging bloggers to disseminate the documents as widely as possible.Så uanset hvor meget held Blair og Straw har eller ikke har med at stoppe Murrays bog, ser det ud som om, ånden er ude af flasken. Historien er allerede i The Times ...
The documents consist of a Foreign & Commonwealth Office legal opinion concerning evidence that may have been obtained by torture, and several letters sent by Murray to the FCO during his time as ambassador. These letters state that the use of torture is routine in Uzbekistan, that US policy there (which the UK supports) is focussed on oil, gas and hegemony rather than democracy or freedom, and that by knowingly receiving evidence obtained through torture the UK is in breach of the UN Convention on Torture. "With Tony Blair and Jack Straw cornered on extraordinary rendition," says Murray, "the UK Government is particularly anxious to suppress all evidence of our complicity in obtaining intelligence extracted by foreign torturers."