Ali Adorus, a security guard from east London, was subjected to electrocution, hooding and beatings during his 18 month imprisonment in Ethiopia, according to allegations made against Ethiopia and Britain to the United Nations High Commission.
Before leaving Britain to visit family in Ethiopia in 2012, Mr Adorus had complained that he had been targeted by the Metropolitan Police and the Security Service, MI5, over alleged links to Islamic extremism.
Now his lawyers say that some information contained in a false confession, which he claims was beaten out of him in an Ethiopian prison, could only have been provided by “British intelligence”. It is the latest case in which Britain has been accused of complicity in the torture of UK nationals and residents.
Mr Adorus, who has a wife and child in the UK, has been put on trial for terrorism offences in Ethiopia and if found guilty could be sentenced to death.
The Independent has seen a report written by the British embassy in Addis Ababa and sent to the Ethiopian government which raises the UK’s “grave concern” about his detention.
The document, written by officials at the embassy, names the Ethiopian senior police officer alleged to have carried out the torture. It says: “The British government takes all allegations of torture of British nationals very seriously. The treatment alleged is prohibited under international human rights treaties.”
The report adds that the failure of the Ethiopian authorities to inform the embassy of his detention is of “grave concern to the British government”. It says that he alleges he has been “handcuffed for long periods”, was “hooded and then beaten” and “was electrocuted”.
Last night his wife said: “On the surface the Foreign Office appears to be helpful; they are consistently blaming the Ethiopians for the fact nothing is moving forward.
“But without me pushing them or lawyers here pushing them, they would not visit my husband, or follow up with his medical issues or follow up on his complaint of torture.
“It seems like the British have left him at the hands of the Ethiopians to do what they want with him.”
Mr Adorus, who was born in Ethiopia before coming to the UK as a young boy, was arrested on 25 January 2013 on a bus during a family visit, and taken to a police station without any access to a lawyer. During his custody, he signed a forced confession in Amharic – a language he does not speak – after four days of beatings, he alleges.