Azhar Khan

Five life sentences, two acquittals: Peering deeper into the Crevice 7/07 case.

Azhar Khan

Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 22:57

16 Mar 2009, 02:12 #1

Terror suspect claims UK colluded in torture

By Sadie Gray

Monday, 16 March 2009

Further allegations of British collusion in the alleged torture of prisoners abroad have arisen after a 26-year-old British man said he was mistreated by Egyptian intelligence officers last year.

Azhar Khan said he was forced to stand on the spot for five days while enduring beatings and electric shocks. During his torture he was asked detailed questions about his associates in the UK, he told The Guardian, raising the question of his Egyptian interrogators having been given information that could only have come from the British sources.

Mr Khan, of Slough, the former brother-in-law of the convicted terrorist Omar Khyam, was detained for a week on arriving in Egypt in July last year.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that Mr Khan was detained and said it knew he had complained of being tortured. Mr Khan's testimony follows that of Binyam Mohammed, just released from Guantanamo Bay, who told The Independent that he believed his interrogators were fed information by MI5.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 45850.html
Claims of British collusion in torture spread to Egypt

• Briton claims UK colluded in his torture in Egypt
• Detainee says he was hooded and beaten over five days

    * Ian Cobain
    * The Guardian, Monday 16 March 2009

Allegations of British collusion in torture have widened to Egypt, where a young British man says he suffered appalling mistreatment during a week of illegal detention while being interrogated on the basis of information that he says can only have come from the UK.

The development comes after the Conservative leader, David Cameron, said there needed to be a full inquiry, not just to discover whether crimes had been committed by British officials but to establish whether the government's "moral authority" has been maintained.

Azhar Khan, a 26-year-old who has seen a number of friends jailed for terrorist offences, says Egyptian intelligence officers who detained him when he flew into the country last July forced him to stand on the same spot for five days, with little rest, while beating him and subjecting him to electric shocks. Throughout this time, he says, he was asked detailed questions about his friends and associates in the UK.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that Khan was detained in Egypt for a week last July and, after being pressed repeatedly, admitted that it knew that Khan had subsequently complained that he had been tortured. The Guardian understands that Khan's allegations of mistreatment are supported by medical evidence.

Khan says he was handcuffed and his feet shackled throughout the five days he was tortured, and that he was naked but for a hood kept over his head. He also says he could hear other detainees being tortured in the same large room, including one man with a British accent. The Guardian has learned from a reliable source that MI5 had an interest in another person who was in detention in Egypt at the same time as Khan, and that the security service knew that there was every possibility that this individual would be tortured.

The allegations will fuel calls for an independent inquiry into the conduct of Britain's security and intelligence officers in the so-called war on terror.

Gordon Brown is resisting an inquiry, saying that the attorney general will decide whether the police should be asked to investigate.

In addition to Cameron's calls for an inquiry, however, Lord Carlile of Berriew, the government's independent assessor of counter-terrorism legislation, said this month that a judicial inquiry was needed to examine Britain's role in the US policy of rendering suspects to foreign prisons where they can be tortured.

Andrew Dismore, the MP who chairs parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights, says an independent inquiry may need to be held to examine MI5's role in the torture of British terrorism suspects after the foreign secretary, David Miliband, and the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, refused to appear before his committee to answer questions.

Professor Manfred Nowak, the United Nation's special rapporteur on torture says he has "been in regular contact with the British government" to raise his concerns about the role of British intelligence officers in the interrogation of terrorism suspects who have previously been tortured.

Last week a highly critical UN report condemned Britain for breaching basic human rights and "trying to conceal illegal acts" during counter-terrorism operations.

A policy governing the interrogation of terrorism suspects in Pakistan that led to British citizens and residents being tortured was devised by MI5 lawyers and figures in government, according to evidence heard in court during a hearing brought on behalf of Binyam Mohamed, the British resident freed from Guantánamo last month.

Since Mohamed's detention in Pakistan in 2002 a number of British terrorism suspects have been tortured there, both before and after interrogation by MI5 officers; and they and their lawyers say there is clear evidence that British officials have been aiding and abetting their mistreatment. However, Khan, from Slough, Berkshire, is the first British national to allege British collusion in torture in Egypt.

Khan is the former brother-in-law of a convicted terrorist, Omar Khyam, and was an associate of other members of a group led by Khyam who are serving life sentences in the UK after being convicted of plotting to blow up targets including the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London and the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. He was arrested at the same time as Khyam in March 2004, but released a few days later without charge.

He and a friend flew to Cairo on 9 July last year having told friends that they planned to have a short holiday in Egypt. Khan was detained immediately on his arrival, but no attempt was made to detain his travelling companion, who says he left the airport and alerted the British embassy. Khan says he was held in a room at the airport for about 24 hours before agreeing to sign a document in Arabic, having been told by uniformed police that it would lead to the return of his passport.

He says he was then hooded and handcuffed and bundled into the back of a vehicle between two men, one of whom apologised to him in English and said: "This is our job, this is what we have to do."

In an account of his subsequent mistreatment given to his solicitor as well as to relatives and close friends, Khan says he was driven for a short distance and taken into a building where the hood was removed. He could see that he was in some sort of prison with barred windows. He was stripped naked, handcuffed and his feet shackled and the hood placed over his head once more.

Khan says he was led along a corridor into a room where a number of people were being tortured from time to time. He says he was beaten around the body with sticks and subjected to occasional, unexpected electric shocks. His captors shouted at him and beat him if he tried to sit or lie down, he says, although he was occasionally allowed to rest. He says he received little food or drink.

Around him, he says, were a number of other people who were also being beaten and tortured, including one man who spoke English with a British accent and prayed during beatings. From other cells within the prison he could hear screaming from both men and women throughout the day and night.

During interrogations, which took place twice a day, he says he was asked in English about his friends and associates in Slough, Berkshire, in Crawley, West Sussex, and in east London.

He was asked about the bomb plot and about the bomb itself. However, the questions concerned not only the men convicted of conspiring to cause explosions but others whose names had never entered the public domain. His torturers, Khan says, even knew the name of the sister who married Khyam.

Khan says he was also asked about discrepancies between a statement that he had given to British police at the time of his 2004 arrest and later comments that he made while visiting friends in jail. During other sessions he was asked about his childhood, faith and mosques he had attended, in a series of questions similar to those put to his friends four years earlier.

He says that after five days of torture he was taken out of the room, his shackles removed and his clothes returned. He says he was then put into the back of a vehicle, driven across the city and thrown out of the car with a hood still over his head. When it was removed he found himself in a public place with a uniformed police officer standing next to him. He was taken to a police station and a statement was taken from him.

He says he met a number of British consular officials and told them that he had been tortured. The following day he flew to Heathrow, where he was detained for questioning under counter-terrorism legislation. He told the officers what had happened to him and was released without charge.

Khan remains deeply traumatised by his experience and has been receiving a range of medical and professional care, including treatment for internal bleeding that persists eight months after his release.

The torture of detainees in Egypt has been well-documented over many years by human rights groups and the US state department. According to Amnesty International, about 18,000 people detained without trial are languishing in Egyptian prisons in "degrading and inhumane" conditions.

The organisation says that methods of torture routinely employed by the country's principal intelligence agencies, the Mukhabarat al-Aama and Mubahath el-Dawla, include blindfolding, beating, suspension in painful positions, electric shocks, drugging, rape and death threats.

The UK Foreign Office reported in January last year: "One of the key human rights concerns in Egypt is the widespread mistreatment of detainees and use of torture in police stations, especially in cases involving political detainees. The government has taken some steps to address the problem, such as allowing semi-independent prison inspections, improving prison conditions, and paying compensation to victims of torture.

"There have also been a few court cases against police and prison officers accused of mistreating detainees.

"But the basic problem still remains, and we actively encourage the Egyptians to tackle it."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/ma ... ture-egypt
Azhar Khan is referred to in the thread here:
http://z13.invisionfree.com/julyseventh ... 655&st=175
Under pressure: the FCO explanation

    * The Guardian, Monday 16 March 2009

The Foreign Office (FCO) went through a series of twists and turns when asked about the allegations made by Azhar Khan, having already told parliament that no British nationals had been held in Egypt on suspicion of terrorist offences.

After Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative MP who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, tabled a parliamentary question last October asking how many British nationals had been detained in the country on suspicion of terrorist offences since the year 2000, Bill Rammell, the minister with responsibility for counter-terrorism, replied: "We have no records of any British nationals being detained in Egypt on suspicion of terrorist offences over this period."

When the Guardian then asked why this answer ignored the detention of Khan, a British national who was detained in Egypt in July last year and interrogated about alleged terrorism offences, the FCO replied: "The reasons for his detention did not fall within the parameters of Mr Tyrie's original question, he was therefore not included in the figures." Tyrie has now written to the foreign secretary, David Miliband, telling him that Khan's allegations need to be investigated.

Lawyers pointed out that any Foreign Office ministers or officials who conceal acts of torture would be committing a serious offence under the International Criminal Court Act. The FCO repeatedly claimed for more than a week that it had not received any complaint from Khan that he had been tortured. Khan says this is untrue. Last week, a few minutes after Scotland Yard confirmed that it had told the FCO about Khan's account of being tortured, a senior foreign office official called the Guardian to say that "a further search of our records indicates that we were informed by others" of the claims. Of Khan's complaints of torture to consular officials in Cairo, the FCO now says that Khan "did not share with them any specific allegations of mistreatment".

It also persistently refused to say whether it had made any complaint to the Egyptian government on Khan's behalf, maintaining that to do so would be a breach of the Data Protection Act. After being pressed for almost two weeks, the FCO finally admitted that it has made no complaint whatsoever.

Finally, the Guardian asked the FCO whether it had been lying over this matter. A spokesman asked that the question be put in writing. By yesterday, 12 days after the question had been put in writing, there was no response.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009 ... llegations
In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, "just to keep the people frightened." -- George Orwell, 1984
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 22:57

16 Mar 2009, 11:44 #2

Former British terrorism suspect claims he was tortured on behalf of MI5
A former British terrorism suspect says he was tortured on behalf of MI5 during a holiday to Egypt.

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Last Updated: 9:21AM GMT 16 Mar 2009

Azhar Khan, 26, has hired a solicitor to take court action against the British Government, saying he was stripped naked, hooded, handcuffed and shackled during five days of interrogation.

He says he was beaten around the body with sticks, subjected to electric shocks and prevented from sitting or lying down.

His allegations come on top of those made by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohammed who says he was tortured in Pakistan and Morocco on behalf of MI5.

His claims have received support from the High Court and are being investigated by the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland.

Azhar Khan's sister married Omar Khyam, who is currently serving life in jail for planning a fertilizer bomb attack on the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent and the Ministry of Sound nightclub in central London.

Khan was present during the later stages of the plot in March 2004 and met two men who went on to become suicide bombers on July 7, Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer.

In one conversation, recorded by MI5, Khan was heard praising shariah law because it involved cutting off the hands of thieves.

"That's what you call law man, Allah's law strikes fear in people's hearts," he said.

He was arrested by counter-terrorism police and later released.

But Khan says he was tortured by the Egyptain authorities after flying to Cairo on holiday with a friend in July last year, four years after his initial arrest.

He says he could hear the screams of other people being tortured including one man who spoke with a British accent and prayed during beatings.

In his statement to his solicitor, Khan says he was asked about the fertiliser bomb plot and about the bomb itself but the questions included the names of individuals that he claims had never entered the public domain.

Khan says he was also asked about discrepancies between a statement that he had given to British police at the time of his arrest and later comments that he made while visiting friends in jail.

During other sessions he was asked about his childhood, faith and the mosques he had attended, in a series of questions similar to those put to his friends four years earlier.

He says that after five days of torture he was taken out of the room, his shackles removed and his clothes returned before he was put into the back of a vehicle, driven across Cairo and thrown out of the car with a hood still over his head.

The Foreign Office confirmed that Mr Khan was detained in Egypt between July 9 and 16 last year "on suspicion of extremist activities" but said it has received no complaint that he was allegedly tortured.

A spokesman said: "Our consular staff spoke to the individual concerned. When they asked about his treatment in custody, he did not share with them any specific allegations of mistreatment.

"At no time since the release from Egyptian custody has the UK been asked to take up any allegations of mistreatment."

Amnesty International says about 18,000 people have been detained without trial in Egypt and that torture is routinely employed by the country's intelligence agencies, the Mukhabarat al-Aama and Mubahath el-Dawla.

The Foreign Office reported in January last year: "One of the key human rights concerns in Egypt is the widespread mistreatment of detainees and use of torture in police stations, especially in cases involving political detainees.

"The basic problem still remains, and we actively encourage the Egyptians to tackle it."

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they had sought consular access to Khan while he was detained on at least nine occasions, and the British ambassador had also made representations.

The spokesman said there was an “an ongoing dialogue with Egypt in respect of a number of human rights issues” but he added: “At no time since the release of the individual from Egyptian custody has the UK been asked to take up with the Egyptian authorities any allegations of mistreatment.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... f-MI5.html
In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, "just to keep the people frightened." -- George Orwell, 1984
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Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

17 Mar 2009, 09:08 #3

FCO admits silence over torture victims

• No complaints made on cases of alleged abuse
• Lawyers see silence as proof of official complicity

    * Ian Cobain
    * The Guardian, Tuesday 17 March 2009

The Foreign Office has admitted failing to make complaints on behalf of British nationals who say they have been tortured after being detained overseas during counter-terrorism investigations.

Officials say they made no complaint to the Pakistani government on behalf of one man who was detained there and allegedly tortured. They also appear to have made no effort to pursue complaints made on behalf of three other British men after they were allegedly tortured in Pakistan.

The FCO has also disclosed that two other men, who were held in either Bangladesh or Syria during counter-terrorism investigations, have alleged that they were tortured, but admits that it has not made any complaint on their behalf - and is refusing to identify in which of the two countries they were held.

Officials have also admitted that they have made no complaint on behalf of Azhar Khan, 26, from Slough, whose allegations of appalling mistreatment in Egypt were reported by the Guardian yesterday.
The Foreign Office is refusing to give full details of how it dealt with his case, saying it is concerned about his rights under the Data Protection Act. "The FCO takes data protection seriously, and we would not want to place Mr Khan in a position where he felt that his rights under the act had potentially been compromised," a spokesman said.

Khan's allegations raise new concerns about official British complicity in torture. He is an associate of a group of al-Qaida-inspired terrorists who plotted a huge bomb attack in the south-east of England in 2004, and is the former brother-in-law of the leader of the group. He was arrested at the same time as the group in March 2004 but released without charge.

He was detained after flying to Cairo in July last year, and says he spent five days being questioned under torture about the group and about other friends in Slough, Crawley in West Sussex, and east London, whose names have not entered the public domain. He says the Egyptian intelligence officers also questioned him, under torture, about discrepancies between a statement he gave to the Metropolitan police when he was arrested in 2004 and comments he subsequently made while visiting friends in prison in the UK.

He says he was forced to stand on the same spot for five days, naked but for a hood over his head, handcuffed and with his feet shackled. He says that he received regular beatings, was occasionally subjected to electric shocks, and that others were being tortured in the same large room.

The Foreign Office's admission came in answers to parliamentary questions tabled by Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition. Lawyers representing British nationals who have been tortured in Pakistan believe that the reason for the FCO's lack of enthusiasm to make and pursue complaints of ill-treatment is that these individuals were detained at the request of British authorities, including MI5, and that British intelligence officers were aware that they were being tortured.

After yesterday's report on the allegations made by Khan, Clara Gutteridge, of Reprieve, the legal charity that represents Binyam Mohamed, said: "After similar cases in Pakistan and Guantánamo Bay, Azhar Khan's story indicates that the virus of British involvement in torture also spread to Egypt. Sad to say we have further evidence of UK involvement with abusive regimes around the world, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Enough is enough. The British government must come clean and reveal exactly what happened to the victims, where they are now, and what is being done to make things right."
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

04 Apr 2009, 23:37 #4

Supplementary memorandum from Ian Cobain, March 2009 PDF file to Joint Committee on Human Rights
UN Convention Against Torture
Submission from Ian Cobain of The Guardian on allegations of collusion in torture in Egypt
by British security forces


1. This is my third memorandum for the Joint Committee on Human Rights, addressing an
allegation of collusion in torture in Egypt that was reported in the Guardian on March 16 and 17
2009.

2. I became aware in late July 2008, through an associate of a relative of man from Berkshire called
Azhar Khan, that he was alleging that he had been tortured during a week in detention in Egypt
earlier that month, and that he was saying that he had been questioned only about friends, associates
and events in the United Kingdom.

3. Mr Khan was an associate of seven men who stood trial at the Central Criminal Court between
March 2006 and April 2007 in a case widely known as the Crevice Trial. Five of these men were
subsequently convicted of conspiring to cause explosions. Among these five was a man called Omar
Khyam, who had married Mr Khan's sister shortly before his arrest in March 2004.

4. Mr Khan had been arrested at the same time as these men, and released without charge.

5. I was told that following his return to the UK, Mr Khan had become withdrawn and distrustful
and would be unlikely to wish to talk to me. A lawyer who had heard his account confirmed to me,
in broad terms, that he was alleging that he had been questioned, under torture, on the basis of
information that must have been supplied by the UK authorities. By February of this year, this
lawyer said that Mr Khan was no longer talking to her.

6. At this point I made contact with a friend of Mr Khan, who told me what Mr Khan had told him
about his time in Egyptian custody. I have formed the view that this friend is an honest and
trustworthy individual. He agreed to meet Mr Khan on my behalf, and ask him a number of
questions about his experience. The answers to these questions were relayed back to me and helped
with my report.

7. Much of what Mr Khan alleges about his experiences in Egypt is impossible to corroborate.
Some matters can be confirmed, however.

8. Among the matters alleged by Mr Khan, via this intermediary, were that he had contacted the
Foreign Office in advance of his trip, explaining that he had some concerns because of his
relationship with the defendants in the Crevice trial, and that he had been assured that he would be
safe to travel. He also alleged that he had informed two Security Service officers, who approached
him on occasion, of his plan to travel to Egypt.


9. Mr Khan says that he was detained on arrival in the country, by uniformed officials, and that his
travelling companion was not; that he spent 24 hours in detention at the airport before being
hooded, by uniformed officials, and driven some distance; that his hood was removed briefly while
he was being stripped naked in a place that appeared to be a prison; and that he was then hooded
again, handcuffed and his feet shackled.

10. He says he was led along a corridor, where he could see, beneath his hood, the feet of others,
both bare and in shoes, and taken into a large room where a number of other people were detained,
and tortured from time to time.

11. He says that he was forced to stand on one spot for prolonged periods, beaten and subjected to
occasional electric shocks.

12. He says that one of the other people being mistreated in the same room spoke English with a
British accent, and that this man's prayers, during and after being mistreated, made it clear that he
was a Moslem.

13. Mr Khan alleges that he was questioned only about associates in the UK, including the Crevice
defendants, and others whose names have not entered the public domain. He also alleges that he
was questioned about discrepancies between a statement that he had given police at the time of his
arrest and comments that he had subsequently made when visiting friends in prison or when
receiving telephone calls from them.


14. After around five days of this treatment, he says, he was dressed and driven some distance,
while still hooded, but no longer handcuffed or shackled. He says he was ejected from the vehicle
with his hood still in place. On removing it, he says, he found himself standing next to a uniformed
police officer who took him to a police station and took a statement.

15. He says that he subsequently told British consular officials that he had been tortured.

16. He says that he returned to the UK the next day, flying into Heathrow, where two police officers
took a statement from him.

17. I understand that Mr Khan has been receiving a range of professional treatments since his
return.

I8. In October last year, Andrew Tyrie MP tabled this Parliamentary Question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British nationals
have been detained in (a) Bangladesh, (b) Syria and © Egypt on suspicion of terrorist offences
since 2000.”

19. Bill Rammell, Minister of State, replied:
“In your Parliamentary Question, answered on 12 November, you asked how many British
Nationals have been detained in Bangladesh, Syria and Egypt since 2000 on suspicion of terrorist
offences. I agreed to write to you with further details following a review of FCO records.
“We have drawn on information held in Consular records to identify such cases. I should highlight
the fact that our staff will only be aware of the specifics of an individual's detention if the
individuals or local authorities concerned inform us of their detention and the reasons for this.
Additionally, in the case of dual British Nationals, we will not as a matter of routine, be notified of
their detention. Furthermore, the information we hold on the reasons for detention is based on local
laws regarding terrorist offences and may not necessarily be defined in the same terms under UK
terrorism legislation. For these reasons it is not possible to provide a definitive figure in answer to
your question.
“However, FCO records indicate that since 2000, two British Nationals, one of whom holds dual
nationality, have been detained in Bangladesh and two British nationals, again one of whom holds
dual nationality, have been detained in Syria on suspicion of terrorist offences. We have no records
of any British Nationals being detained in Egypt on suspicion of terrorist offences over this period.”

20. In a subsequent question, Mr Tyrie asked in how many of the four cases (a) the British nationals
complained of mistreatment, (b) consular access was requested, © consular access was granted and
(d) the detainees were visited by other British officials.

21. The FCO replied:
“Two of the four British nationals alleged that they were ill-treated at the time of their release.
However, we have no record of them pursuing the matter with the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office.
“Consular access was requested in all four cases. Consular access was granted to the two
individuals detained in Bangladesh. Consular access was only granted to the two individuals
detained in Syria at the end of their periods of detention, immediately prior to their deportation.
“We can neither confirm nor deny whether other UK officials met any of these individuals to
discuss non-consular matters.”

22. Last month I asked the FCO a number of questions about Azhar Khan and about the individuals
detained in Bangladesh and Syria.

23. The FCO reply, which I asked be put in writing, was:
“Were our PQ Figures Right? Yes. The figures included all those cases of which we were aware
which fell within the parameters of Mr Tyrie's question.
“What about Azhar Khan? Azhar Khan was detained in Egypt from 9 July 2008 to 16 July. We
provided consular assistance.
“Why was he not included in our answer to Mr Tyrie? The reasons for his detention did not fall
within the parameters of Mr Tyrie's original question, he was therefore not included in the figures.
“Why was he detained by Egyptian authorities? Cannot go into the grounds for his arrest due to
reasons of consular confidentiality.
“Were the detainees who alleged ill-treatment held in Syria, or Bangladesh, or did the
complaints come from one individual held in each location? Our response to Mr Tyrie referred to
a very small number of cases. If we were to provide further details about these cases publicly this
would allow identification of the individuals concerned and we would be in breach of the Data
Protection Act.
“Can you also tell me what, if any, representations the FCO made to the authorities in the
country or countries concerned? Representations were made to seek consular access in both
cases.
“We consider raising allegations of ill-treatment with the relevant authorities on a case-by-case
basis and when asked to by the individual concerned. We have no record of these individuals
pursuing the matter with the FCO.”

24. The FCO declined to answer a number of subsequent questions on the grounds that to do so
would breach Mr Khan's data protection rights. The FCO refused even to confirm that its earlier
answer, giving July 9 as the date of Mr Khan's detention, was accurate, maintaining that to do so
would be a breach of the Data Protection Act.

25. On March 10 I asked the Metropolitan Police what action it had taken when Mr Khan had
alleged, in a statement given on his return to the UK, that he had been tortured in Egypt.

26. Four days later, late on a Friday afternoon, the Metropolitan Police said, in a statement sent by
e-mail: “Can confirm a 25-year-old man was detained under Schedule 7 Port and Border Controls
contained within the Terrorism Act 2000 at Heathrow Airport on 17 July 2008. The man was not
arrested. Information provided to police on 17/7/08 was passed to FCO officials shortly
afterwards.”

27. A very short time later the FCO contacted the Guardian with the following statement:
“First of all, we previously stated that we received no complaints of mistreatment from British
Nationals detained in Egypt in July 2008. However, a further search of our records indicates that
we were informed by others that one individual had made allegations of mistreatment following his
return to the UK. This individual did not ask for his allegations to be taken further and has not been
in contact with the FCO since his return to the UK.
“We are aware that a British citizen was detained in Egypt on 9 July 2008 on suspicion of links
with extremist activities.
“We sought consular access as soon as we were informed of the detention, contacting the local
authorities on at least 9 occasions over the following days, including through representations made
by our Ambassador.
“Consular access was granted only upon the release of the individual on 16 July. Our Consular staff
spoke to the individual concerned. When they asked about his treatment in custody, the individual
did not share with them any specific allegations of mistreatment. Nor was it requested that the UK
make any formal representations to the Egyptian authorities.
“The individual was given contact details of consular staff in Cairo and London in case they
wished to follow up any issues.
“Our Embassy subsequently received from the Met Police information regarding the same
individual after their arrival back in the UK.
“At no time since the release of the individual from Egyptian custody has the UK been asked to
take up with the Egyptian authorities any allegations of mistreatment.
“We would normally make such representations on behalf of an individual only with their consent.
“We have an ongoing dialogue with Egypt in respect of a number of human rights issues, including
in relation to the treatment of detainees.”

28. On March 16 the Guardian reported: “The Foreign Office went through a series of twists and
turns when asked about the allegations made by Azhar Khan , having already told parliament that
no British nationals had been held in Egypt on suspicion of terrorist offences.”

29. On the same date we also reported: “The Guardian has learned from a reliable source that MI5
had an interest in another person who was in detention in Egypt at the same time as Khan, and that
the security service knew that there was every possibility that this individual would be tortured.”

30. On the basis of the evidence we possess, we believe it unlikely that this latter fact will be
disputed.

Ian Cobain
March 2009
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

09 May 2009, 19:00 #5

Mr. Kim Howells speaking with an authoritative air
Should British agencies co-operate with countries that have been found guilty of breaking international conventions against torture? It might be instructive, before replying to that, to recall that Sweden, a nation justifiably well regarded for its human rights record, was found guilty of violating the international convention against torture in 2001 after extraditing to Egypt a terror suspect, Ahmed Agiza—a former member of Islamic Jihad—having refused to grant the man asylum. The UN Committee against Torture ruled in 2005, less than four years ago, that Sweden should have known that Egypt advocated and consistently practised the widespread use of torture methods against detainees. Can we guarantee that all our NATO partners, including our most important partner, the USA, are completely free of UN criticism? I doubt it.

House of Commons Hansard Debates for 07 May 2009 (pt 0011)
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

13 May 2009, 12:24 #6

See this post to read up on a crown witness called Zenab Armend Pisheh who claims that she 'could not be sure' that she recognised the defendant Khawaja and that the man she knew as Hamza whom the prosecution alleged to be Khawaja had asked her to transfer several thousand pounds to a woman named 'Sarra' in the UK. We could presume 'Sarra' to be Saira Khan, the wife or intended wife of Omar Khyam and the sister of the above named Azhar Khan.
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro
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