Saturday, February 21, 2009

US and UK agree deal to bring Binyam Mohamed home.

So, the British and American governments have both agreed that the release of Binyam Mohamed should take place "as soon as the practical arrangements can be made".

He has for four years been held in American custody, British courts have implied that they have clear evidence that he has been tortured, and the evidence of that torture is only being held back from the public because the British government requested that the Americans threaten them with dire consequences if they release it.

It's about as shoddy an affair as is possible to imagine. This has now happened to hundreds of people. Hundreds of people have been held for years without charge, possibly tortured, only then to be released without so much as an apology. Were this to have happened to one person it would be a tremendous scandal. But the truth is that it has happened to so many people that one cannot possibly keep up with all their names.

Literally hundreds of people have been snatched, flown to Guantanamo Bay and denied all of their rights for years at a time. Only to eventually be released with no form of apology for the disgraceful indignity which has been visited upon them.

And I have no doubt that Binyam Mohamed, like the other British detainees of that dreadful place, will probably settle back into Britain like every former Guantanamo detainee before him.

However, Miliband is not guaranteeing that Mohamed will even be allowed to do that.

But he said the return of the Ethiopian-born 31-year-old "does not constitute a commitment by the home secretary that he may remain permanently in the UK". His immigration status would be reviewed following his return, Miliband said.

Were Miliband to attempt to deport a man who has suffered the way this man suffered at the hands of his American captors - and, from the way Miliband and other UK officials have attempted to silence what has been done to this man, we can can only assume that this was done with British connivance - it would be an absolute scandal.

But, after what has already happened, who can any longer say that they wouldn't dare?

Confidential evidence about the role of British security and intelligence officers in the case is with Lady Scotland, the attorney general, and Mohamed's lawyers are fighting Miliband's refusal to disclose US documents which high court judges say contain "powerful evidence" relating to their client's ill treatment and British government knowledge of it.

William Hague, shadow foreign secretary, tonight stepped up pressure on Miliband, saying a summary of the secret evidence about Mohamed's treatment and who knew about it must now be released. "The serious questions about the British government's role in Binyam Mohamed's detention will not simply go away," he said.

Edward Davey, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said: "With Mr Mohamed back in the UK, the government will have to come clean over any British role in his alleged rendition and torture.

I actually think that all of us should feel guilty here. What was being done to men like Mohamed was being done in our names and by our governments. It's beyond shameful. And the British government might now attempt to make this problem go away by deporting Mohamed once he has been released.

Lets remember what is alleged to have been done to this man:
In Morocco his interrogators routinely beat him, sometimes to the point of losing consciousness, and he suffered multiple broken bones. During one incident, Mohamed was cut 20 to 30 times on his genitals. On another occasion, a hot stinging liquid was poured into open wounds on his penis as he was being cut. He was frequently threatened with rape, electrocution and death. He was forced to listen to loud music day and night, placed in a room with open sewage for a month at a time and drugged repeatedly.
And now the US let him leave without so much as a word of apology and George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney enjoy their retirement with no fear that they will ever be called upon to answer for what they have done.

It really is beyond shameful.

Click title for full article.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

We find a Japanese restaurant, but I'm not convinced it's the right one. We wait, Peter doesn't show, further convincing me we haven't found the right restaurant and we head home. Waiting for Peter at the restaurant, the kids comment that they aren't hungry, hmmm, I wonder why. As soon as we leave the restaurant, they are starving.