Posted by: greengorilla47 | 30/10/2009

USUK made use of Uzbek torture

Former British ambassador, Craig Murray, says UK and USA sent prisoners to Uzbekistan to be tortured

Here Craig Murray describes the US ally, Uzbekistan, as a totalitarian dictatorship left over from the former Brezhnev, Soviet regime which holds over ten thousand political prisoners. “They still operate the old, Soviet gulags.”

“Torture in Uzbekistan isn’t unusual. It happens to several thousands of people every year … The intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA and passed onto MI6 because MI6 and the CIA share all their intelligence.”

“When people were being tortured they were being told to confess to membership of Al Qaeda. They were being told to confess to have been in training camps in Afghanistan and told to confess to have met Osama Bin Laden in person. And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed these themes. They spoke of Uzbeks having been in Al Qaeda, in training camps and meeting Osama Bin Laden. In fact we were now in 2002-2003 when we didn’t know where Osama Bin Laden was and the way he managed to see thousands of Uzbeks every year it would have been easier to track him down I felt!”

“It wasn’t hard to put two and two together and work out the fact that every political prisoner I knew of in Uzbekistan was tortured and the fact that we knew of what they were being forced to confess under this torture and the CIA material came up with the same, rather dodgy narrative. It wasn’t hard to put two and two together and realise that the intelligence material was coming from torture.”

“Before I did anything I wanted to make sure I was on safe ground so I asked my deputy to go to the American Embassy and say to them, ‘My ambassador is worried because he thinks your intelligence is coming from torture.’ She came back and reported to me the reply from the CIA head in the station at Tashkent [which] was, ‘Yes, of course it’s coming from torture, We don’t see that as a problem in the context of the war on terror.'”

“I did see that as a problem, particularly when I discovered that the CIA were bringing in people, flying in people to Uzbekistan and handing them over to the Uzbek security services … I falsely presumed that these people they were bringing in and handing over to the security services were Uzbeks who had been captured elsewhere and brought back to Uzbekistan. I did not realise that they were of many other nationalities being handed over to be tortured.”

“But they were being tortured, I knew, [but] that Uzbekistan was a destination for the extraordinary rendition system from all over the world I really didn’t quite realise at the time. We now know, following for example the Council of Europe’s investigation that 90% of the aeroplanes that stopped at the famous secret prison in Poland had Tashkent as their next destination.”

“I complained back to London. I said we’re getting this evidence from torture. It’s illegal, it’s immoral and it’s unreliable. It’s vastly exaggerating the strength of Al Qaeda in Central Asia … I got called back to London and I expected there to have a sensible talk about the merits and demerits of intelligence and how much evidence I had that it was obtained under torture. I was absolutely stunned, genuinely stunned –it changed my whole world-view in an instant– to be told that London knew that it was coming from torture, that it wasn’t illegal because our legal advisers thought that under the United Nations’ convention against torture it is not illegal to obtain or use intelligence gained from torture as long as we didn’t do the torture ourselves.”

Murray’s first-hand evidence clearly illustrates how Blair and the British government were complicit in Bush’s brutal, fake war on terror.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Craig Murray’s Blog

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