Friday, October 31, 2008

Justice for Binyam Mohamed?

Binyam Mohamed is a UK resident currently detained in the US gulag in Guantanamo Bay. In 2002 he was arrested in Pakistan, beaten, threatened with execution, then disappeared and rendered to Morocco by the CIA, where he was systematically tortured by having his chest and genitals sliced with a scalpel. In August, a UK court found that MI5 had colluded in and facilitated that torture. And now, they may be facing prosecution for it:

Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, has asked the attorney general to investigate possible "criminal wrongdoing" by the MI5 and the CIA over its treatment of a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay, it was revealed tonight.

The dramatic development over allegations of collusion in torture and inhuman treatment follows a high court judgment which found that an MI5 officer participated in the unlawful interrogation of Binyam Mohamed. The MI5 officer interrogated Mohamed while he was being held in Pakistan in 2002.

This is good news - torturers must be brought to justice, no matter which government they work for. And it may have a deterrent effect on other MI5 agents cooperating with the US in illegal interrogations. But while I'm glad to see justice done, at the end of the day Mohamed is still in Guantanamo. And there will be no real justice in his case until he is released.