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MP backs Guantanamo Bay detainee

PUBLISHED: 10:38 16 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:01 07 September 2010

An undated handout image obtained February 20, 2009, shows 30 year-old Ethiopian-born British resident Binyam Mohamed. Britain and the United States have agreed on the transfer of former British resident Binyam Mohamed from Guantanamo

An undated handout image obtained February 20, 2009, shows 30 year-old Ethiopian-born British resident Binyam Mohamed. Britain and the United States have agreed on the transfer of former British resident Binyam Mohamed from Guantanamo "as soon as the practical arrangements can be made," the Foreign Office said Friday. The announcement came after the Washington Post newspaper reported that Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian-born former British resident, could be flown to Britain as early as Monday. AFP PHOTO/HANDOUT **** NO SALES **** RESTRICTED FOR EDITORIAL USE **** (Photo credit should read LONDON GUANTANAMO CAMPAIGN/AFP/Getty Images)

2009 AFP

Sanchez Manning KAREN Buck has added her voice to calls for an investigation into Britain's role in the torture of former Guanta-namo detainee Binyam Mohamed. The MP for Regent's Park and North Kensington has been lobbying for the release of Mr Mohamed, w

Sanchez Manning

KAREN Buck has added her voice to calls for an investigation into Britain's role in the torture of former Guanta-namo detainee Binyam Mohamed.

The MP for Regent's Park and North Kensington has been lobbying for the release of Mr Mohamed, who she counts as one of her constituents, since his legal team alerted her to his case last year.

She is putting pressure on the government for an early enquiry into allegations that British officials were complicit in Mr Mohamed's torture.

She said: "Any form of torture including imprisonment without charge - which is a type of torture - is utterly and morally unacceptable. Binyam was tortured, and it does seem on the face of it he was, did the British government know anything about it?

"The Home Secretary has referred the case to the Attorney General to see if there is any case to answer and I'm pushing for an early decision.

"Clearly there needs to be an investigation and I believe it would be possible to investigate this without breaching national security."

Mr Mohamed, who returned to the UK last month after seven years in Guantanamo without charge, gave horrifying details of his ordeal at the weekend.

He told of brutal beatings at the hands of his interrogators and how his penis and chest were regularly slashed with a scalpel while held in a Moroccan prison in 2002.

He said his darkest moment came when he realised that British officials were partisan to his torture.

"They started bringing British files to the interrogations - not one, but several of them, thick binders, some of them containing sheaves of photos of people who lived in London and places there like mosques," he said. "It was obvious the British were feeding them questions about people in London.

"When I realised that the British were co-operating with the people who were torturing me, I felt completely naked. It was when they started asking the questions supplied by the British that my situation worsened. They sold me out."

Speaking to the Wood&Vale, Ms Buck cast doubt on Mr Mohamed's future in the UK while raising the issue of his asylum status.

Mr Mohamed is originally from Ethiopia and first claimed asylum in the UK in 1992 when he was just 14. He was in the process of renewing his permit to stay in the country in 2001, but left for Pakistan before his application was completed.

Mr Mohamed admitted his trip ab-road led him to Afghanistan where he trained in a 45-day military training boot camp, but said he only did this in preparation to work as an aid worker in Chechnya during the Russian invasion.

Ms Buck added: "Binyam will have to make a fresh application for leave to remain in the UK because he left the country before his original application was processed.


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