Simon Mann - Spare a Thought...

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Gundulph, Apr 10, 2007.

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  1. With all the recent discussions on the freed 15, just take a minute out and spare a thought for Simon Mann -

    BRITISH mercenary Simon Mann, a close friend of Margaret Thatcher’s son Sir Mark, is close to death in a hell-hole prison after being tortured by the henchmen of dictator Robert Mugabe.

    Mann, a former Old Etonian and SAS officer, was last week revealed to be suffering multiple organ failure
    in his cell in the Zimbabwe capital, Harare.

    He is also said to be going blind, and has a life-threatening intestinal condition caused by poor diet.

    The 53-year-old “security consultant”, originally from Hampshire, is serving a seven-year sentence for his part in an attempt to oust another dictator, Teodor Obiang Nguema, head of Zimbabwe’s neighbour, Equatorial Guinea.

    Last night Amnesty International said it was monitoring Mann’s condition and attempting to obtain further information.
    Mann has admitted being involved in the arms trade in Africa, but always denied his alleged part in the foiled coup.

    He has maintained that weapons found in his possession at Harare airport in 2004 were destined for a private company guarding diamond mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mercenary has also maintained that any confession he made was beaten out of him.

    Sir Mark, an old school friend, was convicted in 2005 by a court in South Africa, which ruled that he had helped finance the coup attempt. Thatcher also denied any involvement, but was given a suspended four-year prison sentence and fined £265,000.

    Mugabe is believed to have been planning to hand Mann over to Equatorial Guinea in exchange for oil. The tiny former Spanish colony is Africa’s third largest producer and poverty-stricken Zimbabwe is in desperate need of fuel.

    Mann has not been able to attend two successive court sessions after being admitted to hospital at the Chikurubi maximum security prison.

    His lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, said his client is awaiting major surgery because of his deteriorating health.

    “We have applied to the minister of justice for the second time to have my client treated at a private hospital but that has been unsuccessful,” he said.

    “Simon Mann is suffering from multiple organ failure and he needs a major operation to recoup. His sight needs a check-up, he has developed scabies, and his digestive system has always been upset.”

    Explaining Mann’s deteriorating health, Mr Samkange said the mercenary was tortured in a bid to force him to reveal his coup plan.

    “I have requested the court to investigate the findings that Mann had been tortured in the run-up to the extradition hearings to force a pre-determined outcome to the process. I am happy the prosecution has accepted my application,” he said. Mr Samkange was part of the group of human rights lawyers that visited the country’s prisons in March.

    According to prison sources, Zimbabwe police assaulted and tortured Mann during a special interrogation in the presence of officials from Equatorial Guinea who had requested to see him as evidence that he is still in prison.

    Mr Samkange said: “My client was severely tortured by members of the military intelligence and Central Intelligence Organisation operatives in prison. The prison authorities have not denied that Mann was tortured during unscheduled visits by state security agents.”

    He added: “Simon Mann has already been tortured here in prison and we will not have him extradited to Equatorial Guinea for further torture.

    “He has been tortured at the request of a country applying to have him tried under its jurisdiction.”

    Mr Samkange vowed to resist efforts outside the law that the West African country was pursuing to win Mann’s extradition.

    A Harare court will resume extradition hearings on Friday and the prosecution has promised to bring Mann to court this time. He is due to be released on May 11.

    The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which has been on a fact-finding mission to the prison, confirmed Mr Samkange’s claims.

    The organisation reported: “Simon Mann is very sick and is still awaiting permission to have a complicated operation that is beyond the capacity of Chikurubi prison hospital.”

    Another European implicated in the coup attempt, a former German soldier, died in mysterious circumstances soon after his arrest. He too was allegedly tortured.

    Neil Durkin, spokesman for Amnesty International, said: “If it is indeed true that he has been tortured in detention, it would be yet another appalling example of gross human rights violations in President Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.”

    Mann’s wife Amanda was last night on holiday in Spain with their three children.

    A family friend in the village of Exbury, on the edge of the New Forest, said: “We didn’t know anything about this, but we are not surprised, given what they do in these places. We just hope it’s not that bad.”

    Sir Mark Thatcher was last night unavailable for comment at his home in London’s Belgravia.

    Meanwhile, Zimbabwe police said yesterday they have opened a murder investigation into the death of an independent journalist. The body of Edward Chikombo, a former cameraman for the government-run Zimbabwe TV station, was found on March 31, dumped in the Darwindale district, 20 miles north of Harare. Sunday Express
  2. It's terrible.

    Yet another example of how Africans run their Dictatorships and just how crap AI is.
  3. I don't understand the response you are looking for?

    The guy is a mercenary. I'm sure he knew the risks when he took the money for the job he was caught doing.

    You take the money and take your chance.

    TS I'm afraid.
  4. So you're saying it's OK for Africans to torture prisoners if they are mercenaries, how about opposition leaders ? or paper boys ? or muggers ? shoplifters ?........selective torture or no torture ?
  5. The man's a stupid shit. Stopping off in Zim to pick up a few guns on the way to Equatorial Guinea...

    Trusting Mark Thatcher...

    A member of the honourable order of foam-blowers, indeed.
  6. Who said I was asking for a response? several people on the ARRSE forum will know Simon... the Security advising field post Military is a fact of life and this is a forum that this issue relates to and people will want to know the facts so wind your neck in pal...
  7. however he got there.....good luck mate.
  8. Well said datumhead, this is not a debate on rights or wrongs for once, this is for those who may know Simon Mann and who would want to know what he is currently going through... whatever he has been part of (in some peoples eyes) he is a former British Soldier... My thoughts at least are with Simon Mann today...
  9. Can't muster too much sympathy for Mann, who's knowingly dabbled in murky waters for money.

    I know of others in Zim suffering badly, some perhaps worse, and my first sympathies are with them.

    That said, Mugabe is a monster and should rot in hell for what he's done and is still doing.
  10. I'm with you there Gundulph. It makes very sad reading indeed, and if he comes through OK let's hope he does not get extradited.
  11. Of course you're looking for a response FFS! You posted on an open forum, starting with "With all the recent discussions on the freed 15, just take a minute out and spare a thought for Simon Mann ", what else were you looking for other than a response?

    And, regardless of whether or not people know him, I gave you mine.

    He's there of his own volition. Nobody forced him to go. He wanted the big money and accepted the big risks. Pure and simple.

    And as for the question about whether it's all right to torture people. No it isn't. The simple fact is though that when personal greed puts someone in this position, I have immense difficulty summoning up any sympathy.

    Sorry if my view upsets anyone.
  12. Nobody deserves to be tortured, no matter what wrongs they have committed. Remember also that Simon Mann has a family who (hopefully don't read this forum) think of him and miss him when they get up in the morning and when they go to bed at night.

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Squeaky clean are we all? The non-sympathisers?
  13. We aren't all squeaky clean, no sir. Those of us who the CIO haven't managed to get their nasty claws into should indeed be thankful, but nor, generally, are we so arrogant as to presume that they're too dim to put one and one together and make two. Mann hasn't too many admirers in Zim, I can tell you, although he has a great deal of sympathy for his predicament, merely as someone who has to endure the Chikurubi regime, and as a white, too.

    Rights or wrongs notwithstanding, he failed (badly) to assess the risks of his enterprise, which, as has been said above, would have netted him much $$ if successful, but as it is, he's probably lucky to be alive in any case. If you want to help him, visit him with a fat parcel of medications and a bribe of two for the Governor, but don't waste sentiment on him.
  14. It's unsurprising that Mann is ill given the conditions reported to be in Chikurubi- naked prisoners crammed into cells with more than a dozen others. No blankets, no soap, little food etc etc. It's a hellhole that one can only pray he survives. Those who say he knew the risks are missing the point. He knew the risks and he's in the shit. It costs nothing to give a damn and a thought about a fellow British soldier now does it.
    Mark Fukcing Thatcher should have stayed lost in the desert.
    Mugabes regime needs the attention of our forces long before we start meddling in Iran.
    One hour at a time Simon..get through this one hour at a time.
  15. Fair enough (although he has his own cell, spark). It isn't a prison regime that you'd wish on your worst enemy, especially since even the general public in Zim don't have access to bandaids or penicillin - the best you can get in any pharmacy now is a small packet of vile-tasting throat pastilles. However, in Mann's line of work the downsides include the very strong possibility of a few years in those conditions, including every disease and condition in Africa. I'd rather expend my limited quantity of compassion on the people in Chikurubi who don't deserve to be there at all, and there's a lot of them.