Binyam Mohamed is dying. Binyam is a South Londoner from Ethiopia. He has been held without trial at Guantanamo for four years after confessing - under torture, he says - that he was an al-Qaeda terrorist. He has been on hunger strike since late December. The British Foreign Office has been saying for weeks that arranging Binyam's return is a "priority." With prioritisation like that, who needs foot-dragging?
British and US officials are engaged in dance of death around Binyam. Both governments were complicit in his torture in Afghanistan and Morocco. The British government - under legal compulsion - has presented documents in court that substantiate Binyam's claims of torture and implicate British government officials. These documents have not been made public. No one - until this Wednesday - has ever challenged or denied Binyam's allegations of torture.
The US military has now circulated an affidavit from an interrogator that appears to cast doubt on Binyam's claims of torture. The unnamed interrogator says Bintyam "did not raise any allegations or concerns with me about physical abuse or mistreatment at Guantanamo."
Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley, a military lawyer who represents Binyam Mohamed, was in London this week to press the British Government to demand Binyam's immediate return. She said that she fears that if Binyam isn't released soon, he'll leave Guantanamo "in a coffin" or "insane."
British officials are heading to Guantanamo next week to see Binyam for themselves. But they haven't said anything about brining him home.
It's time to say ENOUGH. No more Foreign Office prioritisation. Just Binyam. Home. Now
Emergency Demonstration: Bring Binyam Back!
Tuesday 17 February, 1-2.30pm
US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair W1A 1AE (nearest tube: Bond Street/Marble Arch)
Called by the London Guantanamo Coalition
- An Air Force lawyer fights to free a Guantanamo inmate - Binyam's US military lawyer speaks out, 13 February 2009
- Hiding Torture And Freeing Binyam Mohamed From Guantánamo - must-read article by Andy Worthington, author of 'The Guantanamo Files, 12 February 2009
- UK visit to Guantanamo detainee - BBC, 11 February 2009