Salahuddin Amin & Torture

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

Salahuddin Amin & Torture

Joined: Nov 26 2005, 01:46 AM

May 10 2007, 04:44 PM #1

Trial Raised Question of MI5 Link To Torture

Ian Cobain

The Old Bailey trial raised concerns that the security service is prepared to turn a blind eye to the torture of suspects - or even play a role in their ill-treatment - in its determination to combat terrorism.

One of the men convicted of the bomb plot was arrested in Pakistan and interrogated there for 10 months while his co-conspirators were being questioned in London. Salahuddin Amin, a British citizen, alleges he was repeatedly beaten and flogged, threatened with an electric drill, shown other prisoners who had been tortured, and forced to listen to the screams of men being abused nearby.

Amin, 32, also claims that his mistreatment may have been directed by officers of the security service, MI5. While he received no consular visits during his time in custody in Pakistan, he was visited more than 10 times by MI5 officers. The visits, he alleges, followed a pattern. After being taken to Hamza Camp, the headquarters of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) agency in Rawalpindi, he would be asked questions while being tortured. A few days later he would be visited by MI5 officers, who would ask the same questions, and he would give the answers previously extracted under torture.

While Amin says he was never ill-treated by any British officials, he says that his chief torturer always remained in the room during their visits, and that he was always too terrified to complain. Once, while hooded, he says he was taken for interrogation in a building where he glimpsed a marble staircase and small union flags on a desk. He also alleged that he was once interrogated in English in a room with a camera in it, and says he suspects that this session may have been filmed for MI5.

Under the 1988 Criminal Justice Act, it is illegal for British officials to commission acts of torture anywhere in the world, or even to acquiesce in the face of torture. The crime can be punished by life imprisonment.

MI5 officials denied that they knew Amin was being tortured. They said there was no reason to suspect it was happening. Amin's lawyers dismiss these denials as laughable, given the ISI's notorious reputation for mistreatment of prisoners. His counsel, Patrick O'Connor QC, suggested to the jury that perhaps both sides in the so-called war on terror had come "to share common standards of illegality and immorality".

Amin's lawyers are convinced that the reason he was held in Pakistan for so long without consular assistance was that British officials had decided that his questioning, under torture, should be coordinated with the questioning of his co-conspirators being held in the UK.

Amin was eventually set free, told that he had "been cleared in England", and allowed to leave the country. He was re-arrested as his plane touched down at Heathrow. Amin is expected to appeal against his conviction, and his lawyers are preparing a civil action against the British government.

�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

Joined: Jan 24 2006, 10:57 PM

May 22 2007, 12:15 PM #2

Some earlier news articles on Salahuddin Amin & his claims of torture:
Sunday, February 13, 2005 

Pakistani charged with bomb plot

LONDON: A man who arrived in Britian from Pakistan was charged Saturday in relation to an alleged bomb plot, police said.

Salahuddin Amin, 29, was arrested Tuesday at London’s Heathrow airport under anti-terrorist legislation but was charged Saturday for explosives offences. He is alleged to have conspired with others, between October 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004, to explode a bomb which was likely to endanger life and cause serious property damage. Amin will appear in London Central Criminal court on Monday. afp

source:Pakistan Daily Times
From Times Online
February 14, 2005

Heathrow terror suspect claims he was tortured
By Jenny Booth, Times Online

A British man claimed in court today that he had been tortured by British, American and Pakistan intelligence agents for the last seven months.

Salahuddin Amin, 29, made a brief appearance at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London where he was charged with conspiring to cause an explosion.

Afterwards his lawyer, Fariquain Shah, read out a statement on Amin’s behalf outside court, in which he claimed mental and physical torture while detained in Pakistan.

In his statement Mr Amin said: "In the name of God, the most merciful and gracious, I, Salahuddin Amin, was born in the UK and I am a British citizen with all my family resident in the UK.

"On April 2 2004 I surrendered myself to the authorities in Pakistan and was detained in the most despicable conditions for over 10 months.

"Throughout my detention I was tortured mentally and physically and subjected to interrogation by British, American and Pakistani intelligence authorities.

"On February 8 2005 I was finally released without any criminal charges. But when I entered the UK, to my surprise, I was arrested and charged with conspiracy to cause explosions in the UK.

"I completely deny this charge. I have faith in God Almighty and I’m confident that the British judicial system will deal with my case in a just manner.

"My only crime is that I took it on myself to provide water and food and shelter to the widows and orphans of the Afghan war.

"I would never do anything that would cause harm or injury to people in the UK."

Mr Amin was detained at Heathrow Airport last Tuesday when he flew in from Pakistan.

During his brief hearing in front of District Judge Nicholas Evans today, Mr Amin gave his name, date of birth and an address in Luton. Bearded and wearing glasses, he was dressed in a brown corduroy jacket and dark trousers for his court appearance.

He was jointly charged under Section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883, along with with Omar Khyam, Anthony Garcia (also known as Rahman Adam), Nabeel Hussain, Jawad Akbar, Waheed Mahmood and a youth.

The charge said that they "unlawfully and maliciously conspired together and with Mohammed Momin Khawaja and with others unknown to cause by explosive substances an explosion of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom."

source:The Times
There are also BBC News & The Independent articles from 14th Feb 2005, just after Amin's arrest upon his return to the UK, here:

Further news articles which were reporting on the Crevice Trial:
British Muslim tells of torture in Pakistan as US officials stood by

Ian Cobain
Wednesday November 29, 2006
The Guardian

A British Muslim arrested in Pakistan during an investigation into an alleged al-Qaida bomb plot was beaten and threatened while American intelligence officials watched, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.
Salahuddin Amin told the jury that he was slapped around the head by his Pakistani jailers, threatened with a whip and told he was to be sent to Guantánamo in dozens of interviews during which the US officials were present.

The Americans also threatened to skin him alive if he did not cooperate, he said. He did not complain of his treatment to British security officials who also interviewed him, because he believed they were colluding with his torturers. "I assumed my treatment was tolerated by the British at a very high level," he said.

Mr Amin is accused of being a member of a gang of young Britons alleged to have links with al-Qaida. He is said to have given a co-defendant, Omar Khyam, the formula needed to mix a 600kg fertiliser bomb, which was to have been used in an attack on a London nightclub, a shopping centre, or gas pipelines.

He denies conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or injure property between January 1 2003 and March 31 2004. Mr Khyam, 24, Waheed Mahmood, 34, Jawad Akbar, 23, and Shujah-ud-din Mahmood, 19, all of Crawley, West Sussex, Anthony Garcia, 24, from Ilford, Essex, and Nabeel Hussain, 21, from Horley, Surrey, all deny the same charge.

Hussain, Garcia and Khyam also deny possessing 600kg of fertiliser for the purposes of terrorism, and Mr Khyam and Mr Mahmood deny possessing aluminium powder for purposes connected with terrorism.

Mr Amin said last week he had been beaten repeatedly during his 10 months' detention in Pakistan, lashed with whips made out of rubber tyres and once was menaced with an electric drill which his jailers threatened to push into his buttocks.

Mr Amin, 31, from Luton, confessed to being involved in the plot when he was arrested on his return to the UK. He insists, however, that he made the confession only because of the way he had been treated.

He said his mistreatment included "bad language, profanities against my family, threats to rape me with the wooden handle of the lash and a lot of swear words. They would say you will not see the sun again, you will not breathe the fresh air."

Mr Amin said he confessed to attempting to acquire a so-called dirty bomb after being hung up by his wrists and beaten.

"They took my chemise off and took my pyjamas down and tied my hands with a leather strap against the wall," he told the jury.

"They pulled me up so much my feet were lifted off the floor and the major started hitting me on my back and my things with the lashes. They threatened to insert the handle of the lash. They threatened to rape me with it."

He said he confessed to being involved in a plot to buy an "isotope bomb" from a mafia contact in Belgium. "I was willing to admit to anything," he said.

Mr Amin also saw other detainees who had been tortured, and was forced to listen to their screams as they were being abused, he said.

He added that he was interviewed by British intelligence officials around 11 times during his detention. Sometimes he would be questioned by them after being driven to a "posh" building where he could see, despite a hood over his head, both Pakistani and British flags.

The trial continues.

source:The Guardian
Wednesday, November 22, 2006  

Pakistani intelligence tortured Briton to confess bomb plot: lawyer

LONDON: A British Muslim falsely confessed to planning to bomb several high-profile English landmarks after being tortured and subjected to degrading conditions in Pakistan, his defence lawyer said on Tuesday.

Salahuddin Amin, 31, was subjected to “inhumane” treatment by Pakistani intelligence during 10 months of incarceration, Patrick O’Connor told a London court. The torture took place with the knowledge of British intelligence agencies although no British agents were actually involved or witnessed it, he said.

Amin is one of seven British Muslims accused of planning to make explosives out of ammonium nitrate fertiliser to bomb pubs, clubs, trains, a shopping centre and synagogues.

O’Connor said Amin, who also holds Pakistani nationality, had been deprived of all “basic human rights” while in custody in Pakistan in 2004. Such treatment had caused Amin to make confessions, which were not detailed in court, to British police on his arrest in February last year on arriving back in London, he added.

He added that the idea that British intelligence did not know the “notorious practices” of Pakistani intelligence and what would happen to Amin in their custody “is regarded as risible”.

Prosecutors accuse Amin of sending emails detailing the plot with a formula on how to make explosives from fertiliser to another of the suspects, Omar Khyam. O’Connor said Amin denied the claim.

“No one seems to be able to produce it (the emails) formally,” he told the court.

He said if Amin’s confessions were not true, prosecutors would have to rely [solely] on evidence from Mohammed Babar, a Pakistan-born, US supergrass who has admitted terrorism-related offences in New York.

Babar said earlier in the trial he had met some of the defendants at terrorism training camps in Pakistan.

Amin, Khyam, his younger brother Shujah Mahmood, 18, Anthony Garcia, 27, Nabeel Hussain, 20, Jawad Akbar, 22, and Waheed Mahmood, 33, deny conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

Khyam, Garcia and Hussain are also charged with possessing 600 kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for terrorism purposes and Khyam and Mahmood also deny having aluminium powder — an ingredient in explosives. reuters

source:Pakistan Daily Times
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

Joined: Dec 4 2005, 05:55 PM

Apr 29 2008, 07:49 AM #3

Follow the numbers.

Joined: Jan 24 2006, 10:57 PM

Apr 29 2008, 07:56 AM #4

numeral @ Apr 29 2008, 07:49 AM wrote:
From the article ^:
The Foreign Office also declined to say how many had complained of mistreatment [torture], saying: "We have a duty to respect the privacy of the individuals concerned."
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

Joined: Dec 7 2005, 03:21 PM

Apr 29 2008, 10:44 PM #5

Guantanamo, Pakistan detainees plan to sue Britain
Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:25pm IST

By Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - Lawyers for former detainees are preparing to sue the British government and intelligence services for alleged complicity in abuse of terrorism suspects by the United States and Pakistan.

The cases, if they reach court, would be among the first anywhere to examine alleged wrongdoing by spy agencies in the U.S.-led "war on terrorism". Similar lawsuits in the United States have been thrown out on grounds of national security.

Lawyers for eight former inmates of the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba are launching proceedings to sue Britain for alleged complicity with their abduction, ill-treatment and interrogation, sources familiar with the case say.

Five are British and three are foreign nationals living in Britain.

And Salahuddin Amin, a British man who is appealing against his conviction last year for involvement in an al Qaeda-inspired bomb plot, is preparing a civil action alleging British acquiescence in what he says was torture by Pakistan's ISI security agency, his lawyer Tayab Ali said on Tuesday.

"The civil action will take the form of suing members of the British government, establishment, who we feel are responsible for his treatment, or who acquiesced to it at the very least -- failed in their duty to prevent that from happening," Ali said.

"We have a list of individuals, some of whom are named, that we intend to process against," he added in a telephone interview.

In an account of his treatment, published in The Guardian newspaper, Amin said he was held for 10 months by Pakistan's ISI in 2004 and subjected to repeated torture sessions, including savage beatings and being threatened with an electric drill.

These were interspersed with interviews with two members of Britain's MI5 intelligence service, calling themselves Matt and Chris, at which Amin said he would be asked the same questions, and give the same replies, as in the preceding torture sessions.

Britain and the United States deny allegations by human rights groups that they have "outsourced torture" by exploiting intelligence information extracted from terrorist suspects held in countries where prisoner abuse is rife.

British intelligence officers have questioned suspects held by third countries, but "we never use torture under any circumstances and we never instigate others to commit it", a security source said.

"We don't comment on individual cases but we do take our responsibilities very seriously. All our staff ... are fully committed to complying with the requirements of the law when working at home and overseas."

Amin raised the torture allegations at his London trial, which ended in April last year, but was convicted with four others. British security agents responded to his charges but their evidence was given in camera, with the press excluded.

The Guardian said two other Britons formerly held in Pakistan on suspicion of terrorism have alleged they were tortured there. One said he had three fingernails pulled out with a pair of pliers. (edited by Richard Meares)

"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924

Joined: Dec 7 2005, 03:21 PM

Apr 29 2008, 10:48 PM #6

Probably worth reproducing the Guardian articles:
MI5 accused of colluding in torture of terrorist suspects

British agents alleged to have questioned men at Pakistani interrogation centre after they had been brutally mistreated

    * Ian Cobain
    * The Guardian,
    * Tuesday April 29 2008

Officers of the Security Service, MI5, are being accused of "outsourcing" the torture of British citizens to a notorious Pakistani intelligence agency in an attempt to obtain information about terrorist plots and to secure convictions against al-Qaida suspects.

A number of British terrorism suspects who have been arrested in Pakistan at the request of UK authorities say their interrogation by Security Service officers, shortly after brutal torture at the hands of agents of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), has convinced them that MI5 colluded in the mistreatment.

Those men have given detailed accounts of their alleged ordeals at the hands of the ISI over the last four years. Some of them appear to have been taken to the same secret interrogation centre in Rawalpindi, where they say they were repeatedly tortured before being questioned by MI5.

Tayab Ali, a London-based lawyer for two of the men, said: "I am left with no doubt that, at the very worst, the British Security Service instigates the illegal detention and torture of British citizens, and at the very best turns a blind eye to torture."

One man from Manchester says that in 2006 he was beaten, whipped, deprived of sleep and had three fingernails slowly extracted by ISI agents at the Rawalpindi centre before being interrogated by two MI5 officers. A number of his alleged associates were questioned in Manchester at the same time and two were subsequently charged. This man's lawyers say his fingernails were missing when they were eventually allowed to see him, more than a year after he was first detained. They say they have pathology reports that prove the nails were forcibly removed.

A second man, from Luton, Bedfordshire, alleges that two years earlier he was whipped, suspended by his wrists and beaten, and threatened with an electric drill, possibly at the same torture centre. His interrogation was coordinated with the questioning of several associates at Paddington Green police station, west London, and the questioning of a further suspect in Canada.

MI5 does not dispute questioning him several times during his 10 months' detention in Pakistan. At his trial, the judge accepted he had been mistreated but said he believed the claims were exaggerated.

No attempt was made to extradite either man to be questioned by police officers in the UK, and they received no assistance from British consular officials. They were eventually arrested on arrival in Britain after being placed aboard aircraft and flown in without extradition hearings.

The accusation that MI5 is at the very least turning a blind eye to the torture of British citizens - and may have actually colluded in their torture - is to surface in a number of forthcoming court cases, including the trial of the man who lost his fingernails, an appeal lodged by the man from Luton after he was convicted of terrorism offences, and a separate civil action being pursued on his behalf.

MI5 is thought to be considering a defence based on its officers' insistence that they had no reason to know that the ISI might have been torturing the men - a position that Pakistani lawyers and human rights activists in Pakistan and the UK say beggars belief. Even a high-ranking Scotland Yard counter-terrorism detective has conceded privately that there is little doubt that the Luton man was tortured.

The Guardian is aware of claims by a number of other British citizens that they were tortured after being detained as terrorism suspects in Pakistan.

The allegations being made by these men and their lawyers, which are detailed in today's Guardian, are expected to be raised by human rights groups. Andrew Tyrie, Conservative MP for Chichester and a campaigner against the abuse of the human rights of terrorism suspects, is considering asking a series of questions about the matter in the Commons.

Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 it is an offence for British officials to instigate or consent to the inflicting of "severe pain or suffering" on any person, anywhere in the world, or even to acquiesce in such treatment. Any such offence could be punished by life imprisonment.

Last week it was disclosed that eight men freed from US custody at Guantánamo Bay had issued writs against MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, alleging they were complicit in their illegal detention and subsequent abuse.

The Security Service declined to comment on the allegations, but pointed to recent reports by the all-party Intelligence and Security Committee, which said all MI5 officers receive training about possible mistreatment of detainees held by foreign intelligence agencies.

The Foreign Office said it was aware of five British citizens being detained in Pakistan over the last four years for questioning about alleged terrorism offences, but would not say how many were detained before 2004. It admitted it had attempted to seek consular access to only two of these people, but declined to say how many had been seen by other British officials.

The FO also declined to say how many had complained of mistreatment, saying: "We have a duty to respect the privacy of the individuals concerned."

"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924

Joined: Dec 7 2005, 03:21 PM

Apr 29 2008, 10:52 PM #7

'Questions, answers, months of brutality'

Three accounts accuse MI5 men of complicity in interrogation ordeals

    * Ian Cobain
    * The Guardian,
    * Tuesday April 29 2008

After two weeks in a secret prison run by Inter-Services Intelligence, the Pakistani security agency denounced by human rights activists as one of the most vicious in the world, Salahuddin Amin says he was ready to do whatever he was asked. The college graduate from Luton claims he had been deprived of sleep for several days before being beaten, whipped and threatened with an electric drill. Then, he says, he was suspended by his wrists and beaten some more. His suffering appears to have been filmed, through a poorly concealed camera in the corner of the ceiling of his cell.

After about 15 days of interrogation, he says, he was taken from his cell, blindfolded, hooded and shackled and pushed into the back of a car. After 20 minutes the car stopped and he was led into a building, up some stairs, and left alone in an air-conditioned room.

In an account that Amin has written of his 10 months in the ISI's prison, he describes what happened next.

"The door opened and a few people entered. When my hood was taken off I saw two white men standing in front of me. One of them looked at the major and asked if my handcuffs could be taken off.

"He introduced himself at Matt from MI5 and his colleague was Chris. His tone was friendly, which was a relief. Matt was a senior officer but Chris seemed more like an office boy and during the questioning he just took notes. Matt and Chris took their notebooks and pens out.

"Matt had a list of questions, which I soon realised were from the previous interrogations by the major."

It was, Amin and his lawyers allege, the start of a pattern that would be played out for the next 10 months: he would be asked a series of questions, under torture, and would give answers.

The torture would stop, and there would be another interview with the men later named at Amin's trial as Matt and Chris. Amin says he would be asked the same questions that his torturers had already asked, and he would give the same answers. Then the two British men would leave, and the torture would begin again, with a different set of questions. This was April 2004, and Amin, then 29, had moved to Pakistan three years earlier after graduating from an engineering course at the University of Hertfordshire. He says he was in search of a slower, more peaceful life. Police and the Security Service say he was in contact with senior figures in al-Qaida. He surrendered himself to the ISI after the agency contacted his uncle, a retired brigadier from the Pakistan army, to say the British were seeking his arrest.

A few days earlier, 18 people had been detained at addresses across the south-east of England and were being questioned over a plot to blow up the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, or the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London, with a half-tonne fertiliser bomb. Amin was accused of supplying the formula needed to mix the explosives.

Unanswered questions

Amin says the MI5 officers would insist that his main torturer remained in the room - "as much as they hated him smoking like a chimney, and his mobile phone going off every few minutes" - because they wanted this man to know which questions had not been answered. These, Amin alleges, would form the basis of the next torture session. The presence of the torturer also meant he felt unable to complain to the British about his treatment, although he does not believe this would have served any purpose, as he is convinced MI5 wanted him tortured. "I assumed my treatment was tolerated by the British at a very high level," he would later tell the Old Bailey.

After 10 months in ISI custody, Amin was put aboard a plane to Heathrow. There was no extradition process or court hearing. On landing he was arrested and charged with conspiring to cause explosions, and put on trial alongside six of the men who had been arrested in this country. He and four of those men were convicted after a year-long trial and are now serving life sentences.

During the trial, Amin's counsel, Patrick O'Connor QC, suggested to the jury that there had been "a tacit understanding of some considerable amorality" between MI5 and the ISI, with the British knowing their Pakistani counterparts could torture him with impunity.

The war on terror, O'Connor suggested, "has led those on both sides ... to share common standards of illegality and immorality".

There may be some at MI5 who would argue that some very difficult moral decisions need to be taken to protect Britain from the sort of mass murder and suffering that Amin and his friends were convicted of plotting. In public, however, the agency has said nothing about the allegations that it has colluded in torture. It is impossible to report on the response that MI5 gave at Amin's trial: testimony from its officers was heard in camera, with press and the public excluded. Asked about the allegation that MI5 had colluded in torture, the agency's spokesman at the Home Office gave no comment.

At Scotland Yard, however, one senior officer involved in counter-terrorism operations has conceded privately that he accepts Amin was tortured.

Amin is not alone in alleging that MI5 colluded in his torture. A 33-year-old man from Manchester, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spent more than a year in Pakistani custody after being picked up by the ISI in August 2006.

He says he was dragged from a taxi in Haripur, 40 miles north of Islamabad, and surrounded by ISI officers accompanied by a white woman. He was hooded and shackled and driven to a building where he was locked in a small cell that also had a camera fixed in a corner of the ceiling.

The man's description of the place where he was held suggests that it was the same secret interrogation centre in Rawalpindi at which Amin had been detained more than two years earlier.

For the first 14 days, he says, he was deprived of sleep, beaten about the head during interrogation, whipped on the thighs and buttocks with a rubber lash, and beaten on the soles of his feet with a wooden stick.

On the sixth or seventh day, he alleges, one of his interrogators took a pair of pliers from a box and removed a fingernail from his left hand. He says that at the end of this process he was given a painkilling injection and his finger was bandaged. He says that on the following day a second nail was removed, and a third the day after that. He says that after each of these torture sessions he was given painkillers and his finger bandaged.

'Shackled and blindfolded'

After two weeks, he says he was given a change of clothes, shackled, blindfolded and hooded, taken from the detention centre and driven for about 20 minutes. When his hood and blindfold were removed he found himself in a well-furnished office with drawn curtains. Two men in their 30s walked in, introduced themselves as being "from the British government", and questioned him for 30-40 minutes.

He says he was in obvious discomfort and his three fingers were clearly bandaged. He says he told these men that he had been tortured, but neither appeared to make any note of his complaint.

Eight months after his arrest, the man was transferred to prison. Five months after that he was driven to Islamabad airport where he says he met British consular officials for the first time. One, he says, told him he was returning to the UK where he would see his family and receive medical treatment. He says she also told him that consular officials had been refused access to him.

On arrival at Heathrow, the man was arrested and taken to Manchester, where he discovered that four alleged associates had been arrested and questioned at the same time he says he was being tortured by the ISI. Two had been charged with terrorism offences, and he was charged with three counts of directing a terrorist organisation.

His lawyers are convinced that the two British officials who questioned him were from MI5, and that MI5 colluded in his torture. The lawyers say that three of his fingernails were missing when they first saw him, and that they have a pathologist's report that they say supports his allegation they were forcibly extracted. They also have a report from a psychiatrist who says the man is suffering from post-traumatic stress.

A third British citizen, Zeeshan Siddiqui, also claims that he was tortured in Pakistan before being interrogated by British officials. Siddiqui's claims should perhaps be treated with some caution, as he has a history of mental illness.

What is beyond dispute is that he was detained by the ISI and spent eight months in Pakistani custody accused of being a terrorist. Given the agency's reputation, it seems unlikely that he would have escaped mistreatment.

And given that he is from Hounslow, west London, that he is a former London underground worker, and that he had been a close friend of Asif Hanif, who killed himself and murdered three others in a suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv in 2003, it would be extraordinary if British counter-terrorism officials did not want to question him.

'Catheter forcibly inserted'

Siddiqui, 27, claims that after being detained in Peshawar, Pakistan, in May 2005, ISI agents threatened him, beat him and injected him with a variety of drugs. He alleges that he was chained to a bed for 11 days, had chemicals injected up his nose and a feeding tube pushed down his throat.

He also says a catheter was forcibly inserted and removed from his penis, causing bleeding. He was then taken to prison, where he says he was questioned by British intelligence officers.

Siddiqui's description of his first meeting is remarkably similar to that of the 33-year-old's from Manchester. He says the British officers began by explaining that there were people at the consular division of the high commission whose job it was to help British citizens, but then stressed: "We want you to know that we are not those people, we are from British intelligence."

In an interview with the BBC after his release, Siddiqui said: "Every time they came I tried to make the point to them that I had been tortured. They admitted that they know the situation in Pakistan, the conditions were very bad in prison. They even acknowledged that, you know, torture is used in Pakistan."

It is unclear whether Siddiqui had been arrested at the request of UK authorities. Eventually he was released without charge and put aboard an aircraft to the UK, where he was subjected to a control order. In September 2006 he escaped from a psychiatric unit by climbing out of a window and has not been seen since.

· This article was amended on Tuesday April 29 2008. In the article above we originally said that the 33-year-old from Manchester, whose experience is described in detail, said that a British consular official "also told him that consular officials had refused access to him". This should read "consular officials had been refused access to him". This has been corrected.

'I felt as if my skin was ripping'

    * Ian Cobain
    * Tuesday April 29 2008

The light was kept on all day and night, and guards banged on the door whenever he began to sleep. Not far away he could hear the sound of people being whipped and screaming. On the third day his interrogators began swearing and screaming at him and ordered a guard to bring two rubber whips.

They both started hitting me around my back, shoulders and thighs with full force. They were constantly hitting me and swearing at me. I was in extreme pain. I felt as if my skin was ripping apart. I broke down and started crying.

The word Allah came out of my mouth. The inspector started hitting me even harder when he heard the word Allah. Sometimes I wondered if they were really Muslims. At one point the inspector pointed at the camera and asked me if I knew there was a camera there, and I said yes. To this day I don't know why he said that.

After beating me for a few minutes, that seemed like hours, the inspector ordered the guard to get the drill. This is when I got really scared because I didn't know how far these people could go. I have heard many stories about them torturing people to death. I was in tears.

The drill machine was brought in and plugged in outside the room somewhere. It didn't work at first and the inspector shouted at the guard and said to make it work. I was praying that it wouldn't work, but it started working. The inspector told Sikander to drill a hole in my backside and he told me to face the wall and lift my shirt and I had no choice but to do so. Sikander came and warned me while the machine was running. He touched me.

I realised later it wasn't the drill machine he touched me with because I had no injuries, but at that point I really thought it was a drill. They were doing this to break me. I started saying to them that I would agree with whatever they would want me to.

That's when the inspector told me to sit on the stool and put my glasses back on. They then showed me a photograph of another terrorism suspect. I told them that I knew him, and met him in Luton ...

"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924