Following a pitched court battle, the British Foreign Office has been forced to release seven previously “redacted” paragraphs regarding allegations of mistreatment by former Gitmo detainee Binyam Mohamed. The paragraphs were part of a CIA document shared with the British government about Mohamed’s status. The rest of the document had previously been released.
The paragraphs confirm in great measure allegations of Mohamed’s torture in custody, concluding that the treatment “if it had been administered on behalf of the United Kingdom, would clearly have been in breach of the undertakings given by the United Kingdom in 1972.” The comments were likely a reference to the “Parker Report” in 1972, which determined that the British government could not legally inflict techniques spelled out as torture by the European Court of Human Rights under domestic law.
It detailed Mohamed’s mistreatment and deteriorating condition, to the point that he had to be kept under “self-harm observation.” Though it explicitly declined to “categorise the treatment reported,” it finally concludeed that “it could readily be contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities.”
Mohamed was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and accused of playing a role in the illusory “dirty bomb plot” of Jose Padilla. He spent seven years in US custody, including five years at Guantanamo Bay. In February 2009 the US dropped all charges against him and released him.
Since his release, the British national has detailed his systematic mistreatment, sparking a battle with the British government to come clean on its complicity in years of torture. Today’s release seems to have finally vindicated Mohamed once and for all, providing clear confessions that the “evidence” obtained against him for the charges that were eventually dropped came from torture.
The British Foreign Office, for its part, incredibly insisted that the evidence in the seven paragraphs was no big deal, with Foreign Secretary David Miliband insisting the case was about defending a fundamental principle of keeping shared intelligence secret.
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