Pervez Musharraf: UK never told me not to torture

AP News
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Posted: Mar 14, 2011 7:30 AM
Pervez Musharraf: UK never told me not to torture

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he believes Britain gave Pakistan "tacit approval" of its interrogation techniques on terror suspects.

In a program to be broadcast Monday, the British Broadcasting Corporation asked Musharraf if he remembers being told by the British government that Pakistani intelligence services should not use torture on British subjects.

Musharraf, who was president of Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, responded "Never, never once. I don't remember it at all."

He added: "Maybe they wanted us to continue to do whatever we were doing; it was a tacit approval of whatever we were doing."

Human rights groups claim Britain colluded in the torture of terrorism suspects overseas. An ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, who is of Ethiopian origin and became a British resident when he was a teenager, alleges Britain was aware he was beaten, subjected to sleep deprivation and had his genitals sliced with a scalpel while he was held in Pakistan in 2002.

Former UK security and intelligence co-ordinator David Omand, told the BBC that Britain does not practice torture and expects that its partners also respect that.

"I am very clear we are not and have not been complicit in torture and I'm in no doubt that all the countries concerned, including Pakistan and the United States, were very well aware of what British policy was, which was we don't do this and we don't ask other people to do it," he said.

(This version CORRECTS Adds details, corrects spelling of Omand in paragraph 6.)