The UK government apologized Thursday to Libyan national Abdul-Hakim Belhaj for contributing to his abduction with his his wife in 2004 and deportation to Libya where they were tortured by slain Gaddafi’s regime forces.
Belhaj and his pregnant wife Fatima Boudchar were abducted in Thailand by U.S. CIA agents and then illegally transferred to Tripoli with the help of Britain’s MI6.
“It is clear that you were both subjected to appalling treatment and that you suffered greatly, not least the affront to the dignity of Mrs Boudchar who was pregnant at the time.” UK Prime Minister Theresa May wrote in the apology letter received by Belhaj’s wife.
"The UK government's actions contributed to your detention, rendition and suffering. On behalf of Her Majesty's government, I apologize to you unreservedly," she added.
Meanwhile, Abdul-Hakim Belhaj hailed the UK apology saying “It’s a great day for him and his wife.”
“After years of waiting, I express my gratitude of this courageous step by the UK prime minister. Now, at last, justice has been achieved.” Belhaj said in a press conference from Istanbul, Turkey.
Belhaj is a former commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). He was sentenced to death for opposing Gaddafi’s tyranny.
In his presser, Belhaj denied links to any form of terrorism as claimed by his opponents now, mainly Dignity Operation and its allies.