Eight former Guantanamo detainees have filed lawsuits against the British government and security services, accusing them of complicity in their illegal detention and seeking millions of dollars in damages, a newspaper reported on Saturday.
The two lawsuits — filed at Britain’s High Court — accuse the attorney general, the MI5 security service and MI6 secret intelligence service of being complicit in the abduction, treatment and interrogation of the eight men, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.
All eight were detained in Gambia, Pakistan or Afghanistan at various times and were transferred for detention in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
They claim in the lawsuits that British authorities knew they would be taken to Guantanamo, but nevertheless cooperated with the US, the newspaper said.
“It is culpability by the British authorities in being involved in most of the process, their presence on every step of the journey before we got to Guantanamo,” one of the former detainees involved in the suit, Moazzam Begg, was quoted as saying.
Begg said on Saturday he had been advised by lawyers not to comment further on the case.
Birnberg Pierce, the law firm named as acting for the men, refused to confirm the report. The High Court was closed and Britain’s Home Office said it could not comment on the case, as no writs had yet been served on the government.
The group has filed two separate writs against the government, MI5 and MI6 — one on behalf of five Britons, and the other on behalf of three foreign citizens with British residency, the newspaper said.