London – The criminal investigation into the complicity and role of MI5/6 in the torture of Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn (also known as Abu Zubaydah) must be done with thoroughness and independence, to shed light on his innocence after almost 17 years of imprisonment in secret prisons and Guantanamo without charge or trial.

Despite once being touted by the US government as a senior member of Al Qaeda, the US administration has reversed its stance and admitted that their original allegations were incorrect, and now the CIA considers that  Abu Zubaydah was neither part of Al Qaeda nor the 9/11 attacks. The UN Security Council has echoed this and removed Abu Zubaydah from its sanctions list.

Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE, said:

“In 2014, the US admitted its role in the torture of Abu Zubaydah, which included being waterboarded 83 times, sleep deprivation and mock burials, but no accountability followed. Conversley, Poland, Romania and Lithunia accepted they had played a role in facilitating his torture on their soil and paid him compensation. Britain’s role in his case is only now being probed.”

“The British police have pursued several criminal investigations of MI5 complicity in torture – during which many Guantanamo survivors have given evidence – but each attempt has concluded with “insufficient evidence to press charges.” The primary stated reason has been refusal of US authorities to engage. For any faith to be resurrected in this process, the law needs to force the cooperation of both British and American governments. Anything less is quite simply, a farce.”

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)