UK linked to Bangladeshi secret torture centres

Written by: Ani
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London, Jan 18 (ANI): UK authorities passed on information about British nationals to Bangladeshi intelligence agencies and police units before pressing for information while some of the men even died after being tortured in the secret centres.

The Guardian quoted sources in both countries as saying that British and Bangladeshi officials met and exchanged information to protect the UK from attacks that might be fomented in Bangladesh.

These meetings led to the investigation of over a dozen men of dual British-Bangladeshi nationality, and some even suffered horrific abuse from Bangladeshi authorities.

Jacqui Smith, then home secretary, even flew to Dhaka for face-to-face meetings with senior officials of the Directorate-General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) agency, whose use of torture was the subject of a detailed report by Human Rights Watch, the New York-based NGO.

Seven months before his visit, a report prepared by Smith's own department had reportedly documented the widespread concern about the routine use of torture in Bangladesh. Smith spoke publicly during the visit about the dangers that could be posed by dual nationals.

A number of the British suspects were also taken to the Task Force for Interrogation cell (TFI), a secret interrogation centre, intelligence officials said.

Citing the example of Faisal Mostafa, from Manchester, the paper said that he was taken to the TFI after Smith's visit to Dhaka and is alleged to have been forced to stand upright for the first six days of his incarceration, with his wrists shackled to bars above his head. He was then alleged to have then been beaten and subjected to electric shocks while being questioned about Bangladeshi associates.

While questing him about his associates and activities in the UK, he is said to have been blindfolded and strapped to a chair while a drill was slowly driven into his right shoulder and hip, the paper said.

After being tortured for several weeks the man spent almost a year in jail before being freed on bail and allowed to return to the UK.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The government have made absolutely clear in the Coalition's Programme for Government that we will never condone the use of torture. We take all allegations of torture and mistreatment very seriously, and - where we have permission to do so from the individual concerned - raise them with the relevant authorities. Our security cooperation with other countries is consistent with our laws and values." (ANI)

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