Belhaj Rendition: UK Apology Over Libyan Dissident Treatment - FOW 24 NEWS

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Belhaj Rendition: UK Apology Over Libyan Dissident Treatment

The UK government has apologised to a Libyan dissident and his wife after its actions contributed to their detention, transfer to Libya and his torture by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces in 2004.

Prime Minister Theresa May said A
bdul Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar had suffered “appalling treatment”.


Ms Boudchar, who was pregnant at the time, has accepted Mrs May’s apology and will receive a £500,000 payout.
The couple say an MI6 tip-off helped the US kidnap them in Thailand.


Mr Belhaj was taken to Tripoli and says he was tortured by his Libyan jailers during a six-year spell in prison. Ms Boudchar was also detained but was released shortly before giving birth.


He said the apology should serve as a “lesson” to governments not to repeat the couple’s rendition.
“I hope that it is a new page in history, that we guarantee and strengthen human rights and this practice is not repeated which violated mine and my wife’s rights.”


Mr Belhaj added the six years the family waited for this was “an extension of the suffering for my family” on top of the years he was held captive.


In a letter read out in the Commons, Mrs May said UK actions had contributed to the couple’s capture and that the government had “shared information” about them with “international partners”.


The letter said: “It is clear that you were both subjected to appalling treatment and that you suffered greatly, not least to the dignity of Mrs Boudchar, who was pregnant at the time.


“The UK government believes your accounts. Neither of you should have been treated this way. The UK government’s actions contributed to your detention, rendition and suffering. The UK government shared information about you with its international partners.”


Mrs May said the UK “should have done more to reduce the risk” of the pair being mistreated, adding: “We accept this was a failing on our part. On behalf of Her Majesty’s government, I apologise unreservedly.”


Ms Boudchar, who travelled to the UK with her son Abderrahim to hear the statement in Parliament, described the day’s events as “historic” and called on world leaders to show solidarity for those who have suffered injustice “even if they’re of different religion or culture”.
Belhaj Rendition: UK Apology Over Libyan Dissident Treatment Reviewed by FOW 24 News on May 11, 2018 Rating: 5 The UK government has apologised to a Libyan dissident and his wife after its actions contributed to their detention, transfer to Libya an...

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