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Thursday, December 15, 2005

U.K.: MI6 Agents Accused of Torture

UPI -- British intelligence agents were accused Tuesday of kidnapping and torturing Greek nationals as part of the investigation into the July 7 bombings.

A leading Greek lawyer presented a dossier to the country's parliament detailing the treatment of 28 detainees seized by MI6 after the London attacks.

Frangiscos Ragoussis alleges that the detainees were held in secret and hooded -- a practice which according to human rights groups constitutes psychological torture.

The men -- all of Pakistani origin -- were allegedly seized in late night raids in Athens and the northern town of Ioannina. They claim that two British agents threatened their families in Greece and Britain if they complained to anyone about their treatment.

Most of the detainees are reportedly too scared to speak out, but one, Hizar Hayet, 32, claims that he was questioned about a series of mobile telephone calls linked with some of the four suicide bombers. None of the men were charged.

The allegations come at a difficult time for the British government, which is already on the defensive over allegations it turned a blind eye to CIA flights landing at British airfields during prisoner transfers.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was set to be grilled by senior parliamentarians Tuesday afternoon over the reported flights and a separate allegation that MI6 agents handed over a British resident to the CIA for rendition. The man, an asylum seeker from Ethiopia, claims he was detained and tortured in Morocco and Afghanistan for two years before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

Ragoussis is calling on Greek ministers to explain why British agents were apparently allowed to conduct a terrorist investigation in Greece and break the country's laws.

If the parliament decides to investigate, British ministers may be forced to defend the behavior of its agents abroad.

The British government insists it does not practice or condone torture at home or overseas.

1 comment:

wondesen said...

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