Brown, Blair – for retten, medskyldige i tortur?

Ja, hvor meget skal der egentlig til, før man kan betragtes som rigtig medskyldig?

Timoty Garton Ash skriver i The Guardian, at tiden må være kommet for at give sagen om tortur af briter eller med de britiske myndigheders stiltiende accept videre til anklagemyndigheden:

You do not need to believe that he was harmless to find the treatment of Mohamed over these seven years shocking and shameful. Yes, he seems to have been just a pretty mixed-up young guy, led astray by some version of Islamism. So were the London bombers. If we are to take the high court’s judgment as our gold standard then we must also note its view that Mohamed was “a serious potential threat to the national security of the United Kingdom”. But that, in the British government’s own repeatedly stated view, does not justify torture. Centuries of common law and more recently embraced international obligations unite on this: torture is never justified. Never.

The strong impression that Britain became complicit in Mohamed’s torture derives particularly from the testimony of an MI5 officer identified only as Witness B, who interviewed Mohamed – in what Witness B surreally describes as “very cordial circumstances” – in Pakistan some five weeks after his arrest in spring 2002. The high court finds that he and others in M15, “including persons more senior to Witness B”, must have read reports (still kept secret) about the circumstances of Mohamed’s illegal detention and treatment in Pakistan. Whether or not it was Witness B who produced the truly Pinteresque threatening remark that Mohamed would need more sugar in his tea “where you’re going” (Witness B denies it), the high court finds that MI5 continued to “facilitate” interviews by and on behalf of the US, knowing full well that Mohamed was being interrogated in a third country…

Then there was the British government’s withholding of information that could have enabled Mohamed to argue in his defence, before the American military commission, that the confessions he did make were exacted under duress. The high court is eloquent on this, quoting an English common-law judgment from 1783 that “a confession forced from the mind by the flattery of hope or by the torture of fear comes in so questionable a shape when it is to be considered as the evidence of guilt, that no credit ought to be given to it; and therefore it is rejected”. As we know, the foreign secretary argued that Mohamed could not be offered the only available means to this ancient redress because it would threaten national security. Subsequently, he argued that some of this information could not be made public because the US government had said that to do so would endanger British-American intelligence sharing – that sacred heart of our alleged special relationship with Washington. Then it turned out the Foreign Office had asked the US government to say that.

Den normalt meget borgerlige og moderate Timothy Garton Ash lægger ikke fingrene imellem i sin konklusion: Hvis den britiske regering nogensinde vil gøre sig forhåbninger om at kunne tage ordet “menneskerettigheder” i sin mund igen uden at folk griner eller ryster på hovedet, er man nødt til at komme til bunds i det her – eller, som han selv udtrykker det:

“Until we have got to the bottom of this dark well, using the unrestricted searchlight of the law, any lectures the British government tries to deliver to others on respect for human rights will be dismissed as rank hypocrisy.”

Link: If Britain became complicit in torture, we must discover who is to blame

One thought on “Brown, Blair – for retten, medskyldige i tortur?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.