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Belhaj rendition: UK apology over Libyan dissident treatment

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The UK has apologised to a Libyan dissident and his wife who say an MI6 tip-off led to their capture and his torture by Colonel Gaddafi's forces.Prime Minister Theresa May said Abdul Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar had suffered "appalling treatment". The government has agreed a settlement with the couple including a
Mr Wright added that Mr Belhaj had not sought and would not receive financial compensation.Reading out Theresa May's letter to the couple in Parliament, Mr Wright said: "It is clear that you were both subjected to appalling treatment and that you suffered greatly, not least to the dignity of Mrs Boudchar, who was pregnant at the time."The UK government believes your accounts. Neither of you should have been treated this way. The UK government's actions contributed to your detention, rendition and suffering. The UK government shared information about you with its international partners."Mrs May also wrote in the letter that the UK "should have done more to reduce the risk" of the pair being mistreated.She continued: "We accept this was a failing on our part. On behalf of Her Majesty's government, I apologise unreservedly."A leading opponent of the then Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Mr Belhaj says he was abducted in Bangkok - along with his wife, then five-months pregnant - while attempting to fly to London to claim asylum in the UK.Now a politician in Libya, Mr Belhaj spent six years in prison upon his return to the country, while Moroccan-born Ms Boudchar was released shortly before giving birth.
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