chapter  7
27 Pages

The Absence of Sousveillance: Binyam Mohamed and British Intelligence Agencies’ Complicity in Torture

WithVian Bakir

This chapter explores agenda-building battles waged to penetrate this secrecy, focusing on the case of Binyam Mohamed a British resident subjected to torture and extraordinary rendition. While the issue of British complicity in torture was periodically raised by British mainstream media giving voice to detainees or exdetainees claims, it was the Abu Ghraib sousveillance and revelations in Spring 2004 that made their allegations hard to ignore. The case of Ethiopian-born British resident, Binyam Mohamed al-Habashi was central to revealing evidence of British complicity in torture and extraordinary rendition. The agenda-building force of visual sousveillance is evident in that the Abu Ghraib sousveillance raised British parliamentary concern about potential complicity of British intelligence agencies. Regarding lay public modes of resistance, important NGO activity included evidence-gathering and evidence-giving; lobbying parliament to investigate issues and to change legislation; intervening in British and European courts; and holding the British government to account.