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Passion Islam I July 2009 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 11
Islamic garden will be
‘Europe wide phenomenon’
A Multi-million pound Islamic garden designer through donations. The garden would “break down
for High Wycombe could be a “Europe The former Labour councillor said: barriers in an enjoyable and soothing
wide phenomenon” one of its backers “It is going to cost a lot of money.” way”.
has said. Adding the “time is right” for Wycombe MP Paul Goodman,
Clare Martens said the planned the development she said: “The a shadow minister responsible
garden would be a “tourist attraction” likelehood of it being donated by a for community cohesion, said the
and hopefully bring Muslim and non- public body is unlikely but obviously it garden could resemble the garden
Muslim communities together. is a possibility.” of Andalucia in Spain, where Jews,
Addressing community leaders Fellow backer Mohammed Rafiq, a Muslims and Christians mix.
she said: “It will be an enormous Labour member of Wycombe District Any scheme would need planning
boost to quality of life in the town.” Council, said the garden would be for permission from the district council.
Yet she said it was unlikely public everyone. They were speaking at a seminar
money would be available to finance He said: “People think it is really organised by the Council for Christian
the garden, for which no location has for the Muslim community. I think that and Muslim Relations for High
been earmarked. is far from it. Wycombe at Bucks New University.
Volunteers want to raise £1m to “It is something to be enjoyed by
buy land and employ an architect and everyone.”
Blair knew of secret
interrogation policy: report
publication of photographs depicting where officers of the Inter-Services
the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib Intelligence directorate were asked
prison in Iraq. by MI5 to detain British citizens and
It was around this time, Foreign put questions to them prior to an
Secretary David Miliband told MPs interrogation by MI5 officers.
that the policy was changed, becoming Several other men have come
more ‘comprehensive and formal’. forward to say they were questioned
In a May 24, 2004, letter to the by British intelligence officers after
intelligence and security committee suffering brutal torture at the hands
(ISC), the group of MPs and peers of Pakistani agents, and there have
Former British Prime Minister Tony
that provides political oversight of been similar allegations of British
Blair was aware of the existence of
the UK’s security and intelligence collusion in the torture of British
a secret interrogation policy which
services, Mr Blair said that rather than citizens in Egypt, Bangladesh and the
effectively led to British citizens, and
considering making a complaint, ‘UK United Arab Emirates.
others, being tortured during counter-
intelligence personnel interviewing or While a small number of the victims
terrorism investigations.
witnessing the interviews of detainees were subsequently tried and convicted
In a report, the Guardian
are instructed to report if they believe in the UK, most were released without
revealed that the policy, devised in
detainees are being treated in an charge.
the aftermath of the September 11
inhumane or degrading way’. International concern about
attacks, offered guidance to MI5 and
When the Guardian pointed out Britain’s involvement in torture has
MI6 officers questioning detainees in
to Mr Blair that it had not suggested been mounting for some time. In
Afghanistan whom they knew were
he had authorised the use of torture, February, Martin Scheinin, a UN
being mistreated by the US military.
but had asked whether he had played special rapporteur on human rights,
The policy was set out in written
any role in the approval of a policy reported that British intelligence
instructions sent to MI5 and MI6
that led to people being tortured, personnel had ‘interviewed detainees
officers in January 2002, which told
his spokesman replied: ‘Tony Blair who were held incommunicado by the
them they might consider complaining
does not condone torture, has never Pakistani ISI in so-called safe houses,
to US officials about the mistreatment
authorised it nor colluded in it at any where they were being tortured’.
of detainees ‘if circumstances allow’.
time.’ Mr Scheinin added that this ‘can be
Mr Blair indicated his awareness
But there is growing evidence reasonably understood as implicitly
of the existence of the policy in the
of MI5’s collusion in the torture of condoning torture’.
middle of 2004, a few weeks after
British terrorism suspects in Pakistan,
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