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Monday, March 02, 2009

UN torture investigator warns UK over MI5 interrogation conduct
Benjamin Hackman at 9:24 AM ET

[JURIST] UN special rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak [official website] has told the British government that the United Kingdom may have acquiesced [Guardian report] in the mistreatment of terror suspect detainees and thereby violated the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment [text]. The Guardian reported Sunday that, according to Nowak, Britain's MI5 [official website] security service may have been complicit in mistreating detainees in US custody. Nowak said the privilege of state secrecy should not impede probes into torture allegations and that he is looking to organize a fact-finding mission to Pakistan to investigate the mistreatment claims. Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office [official website] has said it investigates all claims of mistreatment involving British officials.

Nowak's criticism came as the government faces mounting pressure [Guardian report] to investigate claims British residents were tortured at Guantanamo. Zachary Katznelson [advocacy website], lawyer for Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer, said Sunday that British officers were present when Aamer was beaten [AP report] in US custody in Afghanistan. Ex-Guantanamo detainee and British resident Binyam Mohamed [BBC profile; JURIST report] has also said [MWC report] he was tortured while in US custody.

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