Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Binyam Mohamed, a UK resident detained in Guantanamo Bay, has been freed. For those who aren't familiar with his story, he was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 when he was attempting to return home to the UK after a visit to Afghanistan. He was beaten by Pakistani authorities and hung from straps, before being rendered by the US to Morocco. There, he was tortured by having his penis and chest cut with scalpels; his torturers asked him questions clearly supplied by British authorities. He was then rendered to Bagram, before finally being dumped in Guantanamo in 2004. While the US has accused him of terrorism and conspiring to build a dirty bomb - based apparently on his admitting to reading a parody article - the UK clearly does not believe these charges, and he is not subject to any restrictions now that he has returned home.

What happened to Mohamed was outrageous, and I'm glad he has been released. But there are two things we need to remember. First, there are still another 250 prisoners still languishing in Guantanamo. And secondly, those responsible for his torture have not been held to account. And until the last prisoner has been released or transferred to a civilian court and those responsible for torture and abuse have been prosecuted, there will be no justice for Guantanamo.