Monday, February 23, 2009

THE GROTESQUE WORLD OF GITMO

Guardian, UK - Former British resident Binyam Mohamed arrives back in Britain tomorrow after his release from Guantanamo Bay. British and US lawyers claim that sustained beatings - which have only recently stopped - have left him with severe psychological and physical problems.

Mohamed was found to be suffering from bruising, organ damage, stomach complaints, malnutrition, sores to feet and hands, severe damage to ligaments as well as profound emotional and psychological problems which have been exacerbated by the refusal of Guantanamo's guards to give him counseling.

Mohamed's British lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, said his client had been beaten "dozens" of times inside the notorious US camp in Cuba with the most recent abuse occurring during recent weeks. He said: "He has a list of physical ailments that cover two sheets of A4 paper. What Binyam has been through should have been left behind in the middle ages."

Lieutenant colonel Yvonne Bradley, Mohamed's US military attorney, added: "He has been severely beaten. Sometimes I don't like to think about it because my country is behind all this.". . .

Claims that Mohamed was beaten during the period after President Obama announced Guantanamo's closure in January risk harming diplomatic relations between the administration and the British government. Prime minister Gordon Brown is believed to have raised Mohamed's case with the US president during their first talk following Obama's inauguration two months ago.

Stafford Smith, the director of legal charity Reprieve, said that Mohamed had been routinely beaten by Guantanamo's notorious emergency reaction force, a six-strong team of guards in riot gear who have been the subject of previous abuse allegations. The alleged beatings were routinely administered against Mohamed "for no reason" and some were "recent" according to Stafford Smith.

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