(London, UK) The CIA report into rendition and torture has confirmed what CAGE has been saying for many years: that the United States of America and her allies have spun, in the name of fighting terrorism, a web of abuse and deceit that has ensnared and in some cases killed thousands of innocent men, women and children, and that these policies have created more terror than they have stamped out.
Moazzam Begg of CAGE, a former detainee at both Bagram and Guantanamo Bay, said:
‘Though the US have admitted to wrongdoing in this report, we are not any closer toward accountability. Lives of victims and their families, including mine, have been turned upside down, yet there has been no apology, no sense of contrition by the perpetrators or prosecutions of those responsible for what has taken place.
‘In fact there has only been more hate and suspicion directed at former detainees who are probably the most interrogated people on the face of the earth. I reached out to my forrmer Guantanamo guards and torturers, invited them to meet my family and toured the UK speaking at a number of venues with them, yet I was refused entry to Canada where I had gone to meet survivors of US administered rendition and torture, because I was deemed to be a security threat to the United States despite my innocence.
‘We should not treat this report as a historical account of some bygone era, these things are still happening today. Guantanamo is still open, as is Bagram, while renditions and disappearances by the Americans are still widespread.
‘Looking back, the most poignant episode in this whole sordid venture was the torture and forced confession extracted from the Libyan Ibn al Sheikh Al Libi. This spurious information that alleged a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda was then used as the primary justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. No one has been held accountable for his maltreatment nor for that illegal war.
‘The undercutting and manipulation of international law by the United States and her allies now means that we live in world where torture, abuse and arbitrary killing have become the norm. The attack at Woolwich, the rise of IS and the its parading of detainees clad in orange jumpsuits are some of the enduring legacies of the past 13 years, and reminders that a borderless war where men, women and children can be arbitrarily killed or snatched away at night will always come back to haunt us.
‘The rules of the game have certainly changed. Not just for the West, but for everyone.’
Contact: Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone: +(44) 207 377 6700
27 Old Gloucester Street
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