It looks as if Binyam Mohamed, one of the last British residents in the United States’ Guantánamo Bay prison camp, is finally to return the UK tomorrow or soon after.
Mohamed is an Ethiopian who has lived in the UK since 19841 when he came as an asylum seeker aged six. He left the UK in 2002 to go to Afghanistan and then Pakistan where he was detained by the security forces and allegedly tortured with the connivance of British MI5 officers before being transferred to various other hell holes and eventually ending up in Guantánamo Bay four years ago. In Guantánamo he is said to have been beaten on a regular basis.
No evidence of any wrong doing by Mohamed has been presented to any court. By the laws of this country, the US and most of the West he is an innocent man.
Regardless of his guilt or innocence what has apparently been done to Mohamed in our name is despicable. There is no excuse for torture, beatings or any other mistreatment whether by our own forces or by their proxies. One of the hallmarks of a civilised society, or so I’ve always been led to believe, is the manner in which it treats its wrong doers and alleged wrong doers. Perhaps we’re not as civilised as we make ourselves out to be.
1 I am now led to believe that Mr Mohamed arrived in the UK aged 15 in 1994 and not aged six in 1984. My concern is unchanged. Updated 23 February
Posted 22 February 2009, 18:17 GMT