British Court Re-Opens Case of Tortured U.K. Resident Ahead of Release from Gitmo
Scott Horton at Harper’s has posted a helpful roundup of the latest developments in the increasingly bizarre case of Binyam Mohamed in the United Kingdom.
Mohamed, readers will recall, is the British Ethiopian-born Gitmo prisoner first abducted in 2002 in Pakistan and tortured over the next two years in various secret and foreign prisons. He’s been seeking evidence in the United Kingdom to support his claim that he was tortured, which he could then use to exclude any tortured confessions in a future trial, or to help him win damages, which his lawyers are seeking on his behalf in a court in California. (As I wrote earlier, the Obama Justice Department is, like the Bush Justice department before it, trying to get the case dismissed based on the “state secrets” privilege.)
The British court recently denied Mohamed’s request to publish a summary of his torture by U.S. authorities because the U.S. government, first under Bush and then under Obama, insisted it would endanger American national security — and threatened it would harm U.S.-British relations.
Though everyone quickly denied that the United States had threatened British authorities, it seems pretty clear that’s exactly what they did.
Now, according to The Guardian, the British court has agreed to re-open Mohamed’s case. And his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith from the British group Reprieve, has written to President Obama, taunting him that his own secretary of defense isn’t allowing Obama to see the evidence of Mohamed’s “truly medieval” abuse at the hands of U.S. authorities.
Meanwhile, Mohamed is reportedly being prepared for release from Gitmo to the United Kingdom, without ever having been tried.
Maybe he wasn’t such a dangerous terrorist after all.