UK appeals court orders release of details on Binyam Mohamed torture

The England and Wales Court of Appeal on Feb. 10 ruled that the government of the United Kingdom must disclose the seven previously withheld paragraphs outlining the apparent torture of former Guantánamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed. Ruling in an appeal of a December High Court decision, the court found that “publication of the redacted paragraphs would not reveal information which would be of interest to a terrorist or criminal or provide any potential material of value to a terrorist or a criminal.” The court rejected Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s claims—backed by the US government—that disclosure of a seven-paragraph summary of classified CIA information would threaten intelligence cooperation between London and Washington, and therefore endanger Britain’s national security.

Miliband accepted the court’s decision and disclosed the information, but stated that the ruling is “not evidence that the system is broken,” and emphasized the importance of the intelligence relationship between the US and Britain. The released text indicates that British agents knew of Mohamed’s torture at Guántamano. One paragraph states that there “could readily be contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of Binyam Mohamed by the United States authorities.” (Jurist, The Guardian, BBC News, Feb. 10)

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