Libyan torture victim wins right to sue British government in open court

Libya's Islamist military chief Abdel Hakim Belhadj. (Reuters/Youssef Boudlal)

Abdel Hakim Belhaj, and his wife Fatima Bouchar, accuse the British government of allowing the regime of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi to torture them in 2004, with MI6 and former Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw complicit in US-led rendition programs.

According to anti-torture charity Reprieve, who are assisting Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar in their legal challenge, Belhaj was tortured both in Libya and a CIA ‘blacksite.

The Foreign Office has told the BBC it was “considering” whether to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court, but is yet to take any formal action.

Belhaj, who is currently the leader of the Conservative Islamist al-Watan party in Libya, said he and his wife were “gratified” by the judges’ decision. Their torture was “as fresh and as painful for us as if it happened yesterday,” they added.


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