The War Profiteers - War Crimes, Kidnappings & Torture
February 20th, 2009 - British Resident to be Freed from Guantanamo Bay
February 20, 2009
London - Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held in the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay for the past five years, is to be returned to Britain, the Foreign Office said on Friday.
It is nearly 18 months since Britain formally asked the United States to release five British residents held at the prison camp on Cuba. Three, not including Mohamed, have already been freed.
"The UK and U.S. governments have reached agreement on the transfer of Mr Binyam Mohamed from Guantanamo Bay to the UK," the Foreign Office said in a statement. "He will be returned as soon as the practical arrangements can be made."
A U.S. government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mohamed might be transferred as soon as Monday.
Mohamed, an Ethiopian citizen, was arrested in Pakistan in April 2002. He says he was tortured and abused while in custody there, and later flown to Morocco on a CIA plane, where he was tortured and abused before being moved to Guantanamo.
The U.S. has denied he was subjected to "extraordinary rendition", and Morocco has denied ever holding him.
He has been accused of training at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and plotting to set off a radioactive bomb in the United States, but no charges have been brought against him.
Mohamed's case has received widespread coverage in Britain.
Earlier this month, Britain's High Court reluctantly ruled that evidence of the torture he was subjected to should remain classified after the United States said releasing it could threaten intelligence cooperation between Washington and London.
Lawyers for Mohamed, 30, said they were pleased at the news he is to be freed.
"Right now we're just happy, I'm just thrilled that he is coming back to the UK," said Yvonne Bradley, an American military officer who has acted as his lawyer at Guantanamo.
"His desire is to stay in the UK... He is not the first resident to be returned home and I hope he gets treated in the same way," she told Sky News.
Reporting by Luke Baker; editing by Tim Pearce.
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External link: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLK819689