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Court rejects plea to keep Guantanamo intelligence secret

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-11

London's Court of Appeal rejected a request on Wednesday by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to prevent the disclosure of key information relating to the case of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed.

AFP - A former Guantanamo Bay inmate was shackled and warned he would "disappear" if he refused to cooperate with US interrogators, according to details released Wednesday after a lengthy court battle.
   
The British government published seven paragraphs concerning the treatment of Binyam Mohamed after Foreign Secretary David Miliband lost his appeal court bid to prevent senior judges disclosing the previously secret information.
   
Britain has repeatedly warned that the release of the information could endanger its intelligence-sharing work with the US authorities and has fought for months to block its disclosure.
   
But two judges ruled there was "overwhelming" public interest in publishing the material and that the risk to national security was "not a serious one".
   
The information covers "interviews" carried out with Mohamed in 2002, and also discloses that he was exposed to sleep deprivation.
   
One paragraph reads: "It was reported that at some stage during that further interview process by the United States authorities, BM had been intentionally subjected to continuous sleep deprivation.
   
"The effects of the sleep deprivation were carefully observed.
   
"It was reported that combined with the sleep deprivation, threats and inducements were made to him. His fears of being removed from United States custody and 'disappearing' were played upon."
   
Another paragraph reads: "It was reported that the stress brought about by these deliberate tactics was increased by him being shackled in his interviews."
   
Ethiopian-born Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 while trying to return to Britain and spent six and a half years either in US custody or that of countries taking part in the US-run rendition programme of terror suspects.
   
He claims that while in US custody in Morocco, information about his life used in his questioning could only have come from the British intelligence service.
   
After a lengthy campaign orchestrated by his supporters in Britain, he became the first prisoner to be released from the US-run Guantanamo camp under President Barack Obama and returned to Britain in February last year.
   
He had lived in London before he was arrested in 2002.

 

Date created : 2010-02-10

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