David Davis on a case of torture

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Thomas Ash built openDemocracy's site, and now runs PhilosoFiles

In a House of Commons debate yesterday, David Davis detailed the case of Rangzieb Ahmed, a British citizen now convicted of terrorism, who was tortured by Pakistani authorities with the apparent complicity of British intelligence services. In fact, 'complicity' is too weak a word: they let him leave Britain for Pakistan despite having enough evidence to later convict him only to immediately suggest his arrest by Pakistani inter-services intelligence. His entirely predictable torture at their hands included whipping with 3 feet of tyre rubber nailed to a wooden handle, and the removal of three fingernails.

Davis drew a contrast between the way Britain and America have handled similar records:

The Americans have made a clean breast of their complicity, while explicitly not prosecuting the junior officers who were acting under instruction at a time of enormous duress and perceived threat after 9/11. We have done the opposite. As things stand, we are awaiting a police investigation that will presumably end in the prosecution of the frontline officers involved. At the same time, the government are fighting tooth and nail to use state secrecy to cover up crimes and political embarrassments to protect those who are probably the real villains in the piece – those who approved these policies in the first place.

The appropriate level of astonishment at how far we have gone down this road is well-captured by Peter Oborne at the end of this video for the Convention on Modern Liberty: