Libya: Renditions

An exclusive investigation into the role of the British government in the renditions and torture of two Libyans at the hands of Gaddafi’s security forces.

In the aftermath of Gaddafi’s overthrow rebels ransacked buildings associated with Gaddafi’s old regime. In the office of spy chief Moussa Koussa they found a stash of documents that revealed, in explosive detail, the collaboration between British and Libyan intelligence services.

A few months later these documents gave rise to a court case being brought against the UK government, former foreign minister Jack Straw and the former Head of MI6.  The British lawyers, representing Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, the leader of the anti-Gaddafi resistance group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and fellow leader Sami al-Saad, allege that the documents are proof that the British government was complicit in the extraordinary rendition of these two men, and their subsequent torture in Gaddafi’s prisons.

This exclusive People & Power report takes the investigation one step further. It links intelligence extracted by Gaddafi’s torturers to arrests of Libyan dissidents who were living in the United Kingdom.

Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi say they were not only forced to give up the names of Libyans in the UK but they also claim foreign agents, including British agents, questioned them in Abu Salim prison. Belhaj says that sometimes Gaddafi’s interrogators came to them with the questions already done and forced him to sign it.

The report contains an exclusive interview with Ziad Hashem, a Libyan who obtained asylum in the UK and who was the subject of the Gaddafi’s interrogators’ questions. Hashem claims as a consequence of this ‘false intelligence’ he was arrested in Britain without any charges.

Today Hashem is part of yet another law suit against the British government. One of the things he is hoping to reveal is the flow of information between Libyan and British intelligence agencies which led to his detention.

The British government says it is committed to investigating allegations of mistreatment, that it stands firmly against torture and that it never asks any other country to carry it out.