Ex-Guantánamo prisoner Omar Deghayes talk about British agents’ visits in Islamabad and Bagram prisons (video)

26.2.09

With the return of torture victim Binyam Mohamed to the UK on Monday, and John Hutton’s extraordinary confession today that, despite previous denials, British forces in Iraq in 2004 handed over two terror suspects to the US who were then subjected to “extraordinary rendition” and sent to Afghanistan for interrogation, the British government’s complicity in the torture, rendition and detention of “War on Terror” prisoners in lawless conditions is very much in the news.

In the hope of contributing to the debate about the extent of British involvement in the “War on Terror,” Spectacle Productions are pleased to present a 12-minute video of former Guantánamo prisoner Omar Deghayes talking about the visits he received from British intelligence agents while he was held in a Pakistani prison in Islamabad, and in the US prison at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, before his transfer to Guantánamo.

The video is also available in two parts via YouTube:

Omar was kidnapped from the house in Lahore where he was staying with his Afghan wife and six-month old son, and was taken briefly to a prison in Lahore, and then moved to a private prison in Islamabad, along with other prisoners kidnapped at the time, when the US government was offering bounty payments for al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects, and the Pakistani government was also put under immense pressure to hand over foreign “terror suspects.”

From here, Omar was taken to a selection of villas around the city, where US agents were present, and where he first encountered “Andrew,” a British intelligence agent. He also talks about his experiences in Bagram, which he describes as being akin to a Nazi concentration camp, where, while extremely ill, he was also visited and interrogated by British agents.

Omar’s testimony is part of a forthcoming documentary film, with the working title, “Outside the Law: The Story of Guantánamo,” a Spectacle Production, by film-makers Polly Nash and Mark Saunders, and Andy Worthington, journalist and author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed.

The photo of Omar — taken during Cageprisoners’ “Two Sides One Story” tour — is from the website Tales from Bradistan.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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