Secrets, lies and spoofs

I was gripped last night by Panoramas exposition of the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by some members of the British Army in Iraq.

For a pre-watershed documentary, some of the footage and the reconstructions were pretty chilling. Watch it if you get a chance.  The former Iraqi prisoners (who are now suing the Army) described how they were subjected to cruel and degrading treatment such as mock executions, being locked in stress positions and being hooded and blindfolded.

What I didnt realise while watching the programme was that the Ministry of Defence had tried to place a gagging order on Panorama to stop them broadcasting this.  Well done to Panorama for winning that battle the public absolutely do have a right to know about this kind of information.

Yesterday seemed to be the day for spilling info that the MoD would prefer we didnt hear. The Guardian reports how a former SAS officer claims that hundreds of Iraqis and Afghans captured by British and American forces were rendered to prisons where they faced torture.  Last weeks admission by the US about rendition flights to Diego Garcia do indeed seem to be just the tip of the iceberg. Amnesty and others were quick to say that that wasnt the end of the story, and the government needed to provide more information pretty quickly.  Lets hope they take our advice.

So the Moroccan Facebook spoofer has been given a pretty heavy sentence for setting up a fake page claiming to be Prince Moulay Rachid the younger brother of the Moroccan King despite the Moroccan bloggers strike last week.

Fouad Mourtada should not be given a ridiculously long sentence to be made an example of as the court seems to suggest. The judge needs to poke about (sorry) on Facebook a little more often before he imposes such a harsh sentence. Then he may realise that Mr Mourtada is hardly doing anything out of the ordinary.  (I guess he hasnt seen Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozys pages). The press bloggers will be watching this case closely.  

Well till the next time!

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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