UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Belhaj seeks apology from US/UK on transfer of dissidents to Libya

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Sep 5, IRNA -- The commander of the military council in Tripoli Abdul Hakim Belhaj is seeking an apology from the US and UK for his transfer to and torture in a prison in Libya in 2004.

He was captured, abducted together with his pregnant wife and flown on the so-called black flight to Tripoli for his interrogation.

Secret files released by Human Rights Watch show close relationship between United States, UK and Libyan intelligence agencies to hunt down dissidents of Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

But Belhaj, a former leader of a dissident Islamist group, said he did not expect the illegal rendition of terrorist suspects will affect future relations with London and Washington.

'I wasn't allowed a bath for three years and I didn't see the sun for one year. They hung me from the wall and kept me in an isolation cell. I was regularly tortured.”

“This will not stop the new Libya having orderly relations with the United States and Britain. But it did not need to happen,' he told the Guardian newspaper Monday.

In a separate interview with the BBC, Belhaj said that he wanted an apology from the British and American government for being removed from Hong Kong to Tripoli in 2004 – along with his wife and children – despite the risk that they would be tortured.

'What happened to me and my family is illegal. It deserves an apology. And for what happened to me when I was captured and tortured.”

'For all these illegal things, starting with the information given to Libyan security, the interrogation in Bangkok,' he said.

Documents obtained by the Guardian suggest that British intelligence agencies mounted their own 'rendition' operation in collaboration with Gaddafi's security services.

The newly discovered Tripoli papers include a secret CIA document showing that the British and Libyans worked together but that the American agency was not involved in the planning of the rendition operation.

The British Foreign Office has so far only insisted that it does not comment on security matters and that it is an issue for the former Labour government.

But Prime Minister David Cameron was expected to face further questioning when making a statement on Libya after MPs return from their summer recess on Monday.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30549849

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list