UK Foreign office complicit in ‘British man’s Somalia torture’

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A British citizen has claimed he was tortured in Somalia and questioned by US intelligence officers, raising concerns about the continuation of controversial practices of the post-9/11 “war on terror” are still being used, the Guardian reports.

David Taylor, whose name has been changed at his family’s request, has been detained without charge in Somalia for two years and fears that unless the UK government intervenes he will face execution in a military court or be rendered to the US.

The 45-year-old from London alleges he has endured hooding, sensory deprivation and waterboarding at the hands of Somali authorities to persuade him, he believes, to cooperate with the CIA. Foreign Office officials are aware of the allegations of torture and US involvement, but their failure to act has raised questions over UK complicity.

His family, based in London, say they are “heartbroken” over the situation and has accused the Foreign Office of “completely abandoning” him.

Naila Ahmed of campaign group CAGE, said if the US had such access to the Briton it would be highly unlikely the UK had been kept in the dark. “The circumstances around his torture, medical negligence and interrogation by the CIA and FBI, despite [Foreign Office] awareness of his predicament, suggest at best gross negligence and at worst British complicity in the most serious of human rights abuses. We call for his immediate repatriation to the UK,” she said.

An FCDO spokesperson said: “We have tried a number of times to contact the British national and will continue to do so. The FCDO is also in contact with local authorities, and is providing support to the family.”

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