MI5 accused in further case of complicity in torture
Categories: Latest News
Thursday May 22 2014
The Independent reveals fresh allegations of MI5’s complicity in the torture of a young Somali man held in an Egyptian prison in an exclusive report this week.
Following previous reports by the same paper which has unearthed a number of cases in recent years, the paper covers claims by Ahmed Diini, a 25 year old grandson of deposed Somalian President Mohamed Siad Barre, who alleges he was questioned by an MI5 officer while being tortured in prison in Cairo. In his eight months’ imprisonment in Cairo, Diini claims he was shackled, hooded, repeatedly beaten, stripped naked and threatened with electrocution, whipped and faced threats his wife would be raped. Diini claims he was offered his freedom in return for working for the security services, an offer he declined.
Diini, a Dutch national who has two daughters living in the UK left Britain in 2011 to marry a German woman but was made subject of an exclusion order while out of the country with the Home Secretary accusing him of being involved in Islamic extremism. He took his family to live in Egypt where he was incarcerated though later released without charge. Travelling out of Egypt, to Holland via Turkey, Diini was apprehended again on a US arrest warrant after accusations from America that he was a member of the Somali-based terrorist organisation, al Shabaab.
The Independent discloses that Diini wrote a letter that was smuggled out through his lawyer in which he claims he was visited by a British security agent during his incarceration. Diini wrote “I am now 100 per cent sure that the British secret service are part of this trouble, because I met one of their secret service agents who tried to induce me to work with them in exchange for my freedom. He visited me here in prison, a white Brit with a Londonish accent. He told me my Dutch government is not capable of doing anything for me.”
He claims the British agent ended their half an hour interview with a warning that “I will be back so make your decision wisely, it’s your freedom.”
Diini claims to have been targeted by MI5 as early as 2006 and over the five years he lived in Birmingham, until 2011, before he went abroad.
His younger brother told the Independent that “I saw how my brother’s life was made miserable by MI5 when he lived in the UK and how they continued to make life difficult for him while he was in Egypt. My brother has never had anything to do with al Shabaab.”
According to Cage, Dinni’s testimonial is the first new evidence of British complicity in torture since 2008.
Asim Qureshi, Research Director at Cage, points out that “The case of Ahmed Diini raises serious questions over the Government’s treatment of the Somali community. The MI5 harassment he was subjected over here echoes the testimonies of many other Somali youngsters.”
The Independent first published reports of the harassment faced by Somali men and their targeting by security officials eager to enlist their services into spying on their communities in 2009. Sharhabeel Lone, chairman of the Kentish Town Community Centre, where some of the Somali men affected used to gather, wrote then to his local MP concerning the claims of harassment stating:
“Threatening British citizens, harassing them in their own country, alienating young people who have committed no crime other than practising a particular faith and being a different colour is a recipe for disaster.
“These disgraceful incidents have undermined 10 years of hard work and severely impacted social cohesion in Camden. Targeting young people that are role models for all young people in our country in such a disparaging way demonstrates a total lack of understanding of on-the-ground reality and can only be counter-productive.
“When people are terrorised by the very same body that is meant to protect them, sowing fear, suspicion and division, we are on a slippery slope to an Orwellian society.”
Diini’s case is being investigated by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.