Thursday, November 26, 2009

UK Government Torturing UK Citizens

Extract from the Guardian, 25th. November, 2009 - by Ian Cobain

"After an investigation spanning more than a year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) today condemned Britain's role in the torture of terror suspects detained in Pakistan as cruel, counter-productive and in clear breach of international law ..... a report published today by HRW – entitled Cruel Britannia: British Complicity in the Torture and Ill-treatment of Terror Suspects – draws upon corroborative evidence received from the Pakistani torturers themselves.

Researchers at the New York-based NGO spoke to Pakistani intelligence agents directly involved in the torture who say their British counterparts knew they were mistreating British terrorism suspects. These agents said British officials were "breathing down their necks for information" while they were torturing a medical student from London, and that British intelligence officers were "grateful" they were "using all means possible" to extract information from a man from Luton being beaten, whipped, deprived of sleep and threatened with an electric drill.

"UK complicity is clear," the report says, adding that it had put the government in a "legally, morally and politically invidious position""

Monday, November 9, 2009

You Couldn't Make It Up! (2)

from:, Friday 6th. November, 2009 22 04 GMT

'Culture of impunity' at police unit

by Paul Lewis, Matthew Taylor

(Headlined as above in Saturday edition of the newspaper, filed with slightly different heading on the net on Friday night)

Of more than 5,000 complaints against squad, less than 0.18% were upheld

Scotland Yard faced calls for an "ethical audit" of all officers in its controversial riot squad tonight after figures revealed that they had received more than 5,000 complaint allegations, mostly for "oppressive behaviour".
Details of all allegations lodged against the Metropolitan police territorial support group (TSG) over the last four years reveal that only nine – less than 0.18% – were "substantiated" after an investigation by the force's complaints department.
The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, were described as evidence of a "culture of impunity" that makes it almost impossible for members of the public to lodge successful complaints against the Met's 730 TSG officers.
The TSG is a specialist squad that responds to outbreaks of disorder anywhere in the capital. It is under investigation for the most high-profile cases of alleged brutality at the G20 protests, including the death of Ian Tomlinson.
The unit came under renewed criticism this week after one of its officers was identified as a member of a team implicated in a "serious, gratuitous and prolonged" attack on a Muslim man.
PC Mark Jones, 42, was one of six officers involved in an attack on Babar Ahmad, 34, who was punched, kicked, stamped on and strangled during his arrest at his home in Tooting, south London. The Met paid Ahmad £60,000 in damages earlier this year and accepted its officers were responsible for the attack, during which Ahmad, a terror suspect, was forced into the Muslim prayer position and told: "Where is your God now? Pray to him."
A former Royal Marine, Jones has had 31 complaints lodged against him since 1993. Twenty-six were assault allegations, most of which had been lodged by black or Asian men, but none were substantiated.

The TSG has been the subject of 5,241 allegations since August 2005. They include 376 allegations of discrimination and 977 complaints of "incivility". More than 1,100 of the allegations concerned what members of the public said were "failures in duty". However by far the largest number of complaints – 2,280 – were categorised as "oppressive behaviour".
Just over 2,000 (38%) were "unsubstantiated" by the Met's department for professional standards, while the rest were resolved at the police station, dismissed, discontinued or dealt with in other ways.


(original article continues)