Rendition, a Guardian report

There is something quite dedicated and admirable about those journalists who go out of their way to write about some of the most horrific incidents taking place, and doing it in a lucid and articulate manner.

I was reminded of this by Ian Cobain’s piece in the April 8, Guardian titled Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials. “He reports on the trail of evidence linking the UK to a couple’s rendition to Libya and its implications for British justice.”

Cobain writes:

Just when Fatima Bouchar thought it couldn’t get any worse, the Americans forced her to lie on a stretcher and began wrapping tape around her feet. They moved upwards, she says, along her legs, winding the tape around and around, binding her to the stretcher. They taped her stomach, her arms and then her chest. She was bound tight, unable to move.

Cobain goes on to describe how this four-and-a-half-month pregnant woman was left with only her right eye unbound by her balaklava-concealed captors on her 17-hour journey. She describes it as agony.

She was tortured for months and at one point thought she would give birth to her first child in her prison.

What makes Cobain’s reporting so important, however, is not just his telling of Bouchar and her husband’s story.

He writes of evidence linking the rendition operation to British intelligence officers,

“Documents discovered in Tripoli show that the operation was initiated by British intelligence officers, rather than the masked Americans or their superiors in the US.”

And the link between government vested interests and the use of people as pawns whose human rights could be disregarded:

“The US and UK governments were beginning to repair their relations with Gaddafi, a rapprochement that would soon see him abandon his WMD programme and open hid country’s oil and gas reserves to western corporations.”

This is some excellent reporting and a great read. Some journalists should stand out for the effort they put in, but with respect and not in the headlines of their own papers.

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