A federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union has thrown up a rather interesting, and none-too-flattering accusation against one of the biggest groups in Irish music history.
The lawsuit, filed by three men, is against three men who designed a CIA interrogation programme. One of the tactics used in this was playing Westlife records, repeatedly, at prisoners.
One of the plaintiffs, Suleiman Abdullah, from Tanzania, says he was held in COBALT prison in Afghanistan where he was “assaulted with music by the Irish boyband Westlife.”
Suleiman, who was transferred from country to country during five years as prisoner, says the CIA officers used to tell him they played the love songs for him.
The ACLU says: “His interrogators would intersperse a syrupy song called My Love with heavy metal, played on repeat at ear splitting volume. They told Suleiman, a newly wed fisherman from Tanzania, that they were playing the love song especially for him. Suleiman had married his wife Magida only two weeks before the CIA and Kenyan agents abducted him in Somalia, where he had settled while fishing and trading around the Swahili Coast. He would never see Magida again.”
Suleiman was subjected a range of torture techniques during his imprisonment, before being released and confirmed as being of no threat to the USA.
Read: The full CIA Torture Complaint from the ACLU