London – The Chilcot Report must recognise that Britain went to war in Iraq based on falsified information and tortured confessions from a vast network involving the US, the UK, France, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Algeria. Failing to acknowledge this reality and hold the perpetrators accountable will render the report incomplete.

The main ‘evidence’ of a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda was a confession extracted from Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi in Egypt, after he had been severely tortured and water-boarded.

The testimony of al-Libi has since been widely discredited after it became clear that it was extracted under duress. The United States Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), later confirmed that the information the CIA had used, was completely incorrect.

Other false tortured testimonies formed the basis of the invasion. These included a confession – which he never saw – extracted from Abu Attiyya in Jordan, ‘evidence’ provided by Said Arif in Syria, who suffered isolation, beatings, and torture with a television cable and a tyre, and a confession under torture by Mohammed Meguerba in Algeria.

The way in which this ‘evidence’ was extracted and linked up by security agencies to paint a picture to justify the invasion of Iraq is evidence of global programme of torture, a blatant violation of due process and human rights that should be the subject of an independent investigation.

Moazzam Begg, CAGE Outreach Director, said:

“The Iraq War and the resultant rise of ISIS has at its nexus a programme of torture. Those who directed, instigated and co-ordinated this programme must be held accountable if we are to halt the cycles of violence.”

“We campaigned against Guantanamo and were castigated and labelled ‘extremist’. But our work against torture and extraordinary rendition, which all came out of the Iraq War, was ground breaking. Our mission is implementation of the rule of law. If Chilcot is to mean anything, it has to lead the architects of the War on Terror to accept their complicity in torture and rendition programmes the world over. The fight against so called ‘extremism’ has been a cover used by despots and democrats for the most horrendous human rights abuses in the modern age.”


(CC image Courtesy of US Army on Flickr)

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