Thursday, February 28, 2008

British Gov't Seeks to Silence Whistleblower on Rendition

A huge story is brewing on the extent of the U.S. extraordinary rendition program, involving direct participation on an operational level. From a press release today from the Stop the War Coalition in Great Britain:
Press Release
Stop the War Coalition
Thursday 28 February 2008
4.15 pm

Government threat to gag Ex-SAS soldier speaking out on rendition and torture

Ex-SAS trooper Ben Griffin will join Ibrahim Moussawi, Hassan Juma’a and others at the World Against War rally this evening at Friend’s Meeting House, Euston Road, NW1 at 6.30 pm.

The government is seeking an injunction against Ben tomorrow morning (Friday) to prevent him speaking out about British collaboration with US rendition and torture. He will be speaking about these issues tonight.

David Wilson
Press Office
Stop the War Coalition
M: 07951 579 064
Here's a link to a video of Ben talking to the press about British troop involvement in the U.S. rendition program. He makes the point that there is a "global network of prisons" where indefinite detention and the threat of torture is imposed upon detainees. This global gulag directly violates the Geneva Conventions, international law, and the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Furthermore -- and this is Ben Griffin's central accusation, and why the British government is trying to silence him -- it is often "British soldiers [who are] detaining the victims of rendition in the first place."

Griffin's story was written up in detail by the UK Telegraph the other day, and I wrote about it last Monday. In Griffin's press conference earlier this week, he talked about how UK involvment in the American program began in Afghanistan, not too long after 9/11. He continued:
The use of British Territory and airspace pales into insignificance in light of the fact that it has been British soldiers detaining the victims of Extraordinary Rendition in the first place. Since the invasion of Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001 UKSF has operated within a joint US/UK Task Force. This Task Force has been responsible for the detention of hundreds if not thousands of individuals in Afghanistan and Iraq. Individuals detained by British soldiers within this Task force have ended up in Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, Bagram Theatre Internment Facility, Balad Special Forces Base, Camp Nama BIAP and Abu Ghraib Prison.

Whilst the government has stated its desire that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp be closed, it has remained silent over these other secretive prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This story has received no coverage in this country but is vitally important to those who wish to fight against the U.S. torture machine. Please spread this story wide and far. Ask your local and national papers why they aren't covering it. Don't let Ben Griffin be silenced!

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