The UK’s High Court ruled Nov. 19 that documents on the detention of Binyam Mohamed in Pakistan in 2002 must be released. This most recent decision is the latest in a series of back-and-forth rulings on whether redacted materials regarding Mohamed’s detention should be disclosed. An October interim ruling by Lord Justice Thomas and Justice Lloyd Jones resulted in a redacted release, which the High Court indicated it would revisit after receiving submissions from both the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Mohamed.
In handing down this most recent decision, Thomas and Jones said that in making public details of a detainee’s treatment, “we were not in the judgment ‘giving away the intelligence secrets of a foreign country’ or making public ‘American secrets.'” Both justices were critical of Foreign Secretary David Milliband’s efforts to keep the information classified, noting that the US had already released similar information on the treatment of Abu Zubaydah. As part of the judgment, the justices indicated that the FCO had already sought an expedited appeal of the decision, though that matter would be handled by another court and it is not clear how quickly the hearing will occur.
This decision comes one day after a separate judge on the High Court ruled that, in Mohamed’s separate suit for damages, information relating to his treatment at Guantanamo Bay may be withheld under a “closed material procedure.” Mohamed was returned to the UK in February, after charges against him were dismissed in October 2008. Mohamed had been held at Guantánamo Bay for four years, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit terrorism. (Jurist, Nov. 19)
See our last post on the detainment scandal.