Home News Politics PM apology over Libyans’ ‘appalling treatment’

PM apology over Libyans’ ‘appalling treatment’

PM apology over Libyans’ ‘appalling treatment’
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Media caption Abdul Hakim Belhaj: “I hope that it is a brand-new page in history”

The UK federal government has actually apologised to a Libyan dissident and his partner after its actions added to their detention, transfer to Libya and his abuse by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces in 2004.

Prime Minister Theresa May stated Abdul Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar had actually suffered “terrible treatment”.

Ms Boudchar, who was pregnant at the time, has actually accepted Mrs May’s apology and will get a £ 500,000 payment.

The couple state an MI6 tip-off assisted the United States abduct them in Thailand.

Mr Belhaj was required to Tripoli and states he was tortured by his Libyan jailers throughout a six-year spell in jail. Ms Boudchar was likewise apprehended however was launched quickly prior to delivering.

Speaking to BBC News, he stated the apology ought to act as a “lesson” to federal governments not to duplicate the couple’s performance.

“I hope that it is a brand-new page in history, that we ensure and enhance human rights and this practice is not duplicated which broke mine and my partner’s rights.”

Mr Belhaj included the 6 years the household waited on this was “an extension of the suffering for my household” on top of the years he was cooped.

In a letter read out in the Commons, Mrs May stated UK actions had actually added to the couple’s capture which the federal government had actually “shared info” about them with “worldwide partners”.

Media playback is unsupported on your gadget
Media caption Fatima Boudchar: “This is a historical day for us”

The letter stated: “It is clear that you were both subjected to dreadful treatment which you suffered considerably, not least to the self-respect of Mrs Boudchar, who was pregnant at the time.

“The UK federal government thinks your accounts. Neither of you need to have been treated by doing this. The UK federal government’s actions added to your performance, suffering and detention. The UK federal government shared details about you with its global partners.”

Mrs May stated the UK “must have done more to decrease the danger” of the set being maltreated, including: “We accept this was a stopping working on our part. On behalf of Her Majesty’s federal government, I apologise unreservedly.”

Ms Boudchar, who took a trip to the UK with her boy Abderrahim to hear the declaration in Parliament, explained the day’s occasions as “historical” and gotten in touch with world leaders to reveal uniformity for those who have actually suffered oppression “even if they’re of various religious beliefs or culture”.

The files that required the UK to apologise

By Dominic Casciani

The settlement is the very first time ministers have actually apologised for a particular act including British security companies.

Papers found in Tripoli, Libya – throughout the fall of the totalitarian Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 – consisted of proof of how MI6 and the CIA had actually groomed Gaddafi and his program to come in from the cold.

The UK’s strategy was to persuade Gaddafi to not just stop threatening the West, however to likewise supply intelligence on Libyan dissidents and their prospective connect to al-Qaeda.

Details of secret conferences and files describing Mr Belhaj have actually emerged and assist highlight how the performance case established.

Read more from Dominic

‘Humane’ treatment guarantees

Attorney General Jeremy Wright, who read out Mrs May’s letter, stated Mr Belhaj had actually not looked for and would not get monetary settlement.

However, pals of the couple stated the UK had actually consented to pay Mr Belhaj and Ms Boudchar’s “considerable” legal charges.

Jack Straw, foreign secretary at the time of the performance case, provided a declaration where he stated he had actually “looked for to act at all times in a way which was completely constant with my legal tasks, and with worldwide and nationwide law”.

He stated it had actually belonged to his function to authorize “a vast array of matters to safeguard our nationwide security” consisting of the sharing of info with worldwide partners.

This consisted of getting guarantees that those worried were being dealt with humanely, he stated.


Who is Abdul Hakim Belhaj?

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Abdul Hakim Belhaj led an Islamic group battling versus the Libyan federal government

Mr Belhaj was born in 1966 in the Souq al-Jumaa location of Tripoli and studied at al-Fateh University, where press reports state he made a civil engineering degree.

He ended up being a challenger of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi and commanded the now defunct Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which staged a low-level revolt war and tried to assassinate Col Gaddafi 3 times.

He left the nation in 2001 however was 3 years later on abducted in Bangkok – together with his partner, then five-months pregnant – while trying to fly to London to declare asylum in the UK.

Mr Belhaj is now a political leader in Libya.


Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44070304

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