Guantanamo Briton will face US military court

Gordon Brown is facing increasing pressure to directly intervene in the case of a British resident being held at Guantanamo Bay who has been charged with terrorism-related offences and may face the death penalty.

MPs, human rights lawyers and former Guantanamo inmates have called on the Prime Minister to help secure the release of a 29-year-old Londoner, Binyam Mohamed, who has been held by the Americans for more than six years without trial.

Mr Mohamed claims to have suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his American captors, including razor blade cuts to his genitals. He has been formally charged with terrorism-related offences and is now due to be brought before a US Military Commission.

The Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Guantanamo Bay, said: "The American government have disgracefully undermined their own case by allowing Binyam Mohamed to be subjected to such horrendous abuse.

"If Binyam Mohamed has committed a crime, then it is right that he is charged and brought to justice. However, any trial process must be fair, open and transparent. Holding people for years on end without charge or trial breaches every single value that the war on terror purports to defend."

Her words echoed those of the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Ed Davey. Speaking before news of the charge broke, he said: "This detainee has now served over six years in prison without charge or trial. The British Government must insist that this individual gets his long overdue day in court. It is essential that democratic countries stand up for fair trials and due process, whether at home or abroad."

Louise Christian, the human rights lawyer who represented three British citizens formerly imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, urged the Government to do everything in its power to bring Mr Mohamed home. "Britain has more of a duty to rescue someone who is about to go before an unfair trial. If we don't, then it will lead to a shameful spectacle being played out before the world."

Moazzam Begg, who was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2005, said the case of Mr Mohamed was paradoxical to his own. "I was released because I was due to go before one of these Military Commissions. Binyam is being held because he is expected to be charged and brought before the very same commission."

Mr Mohamed, born in Ethiopia in 1978, came to Britain as an asylum-seeker in 1994 when he was 16. According to his legal team, he went travelling to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2001 in an attempt to deal with his health and personal problems. He was arrested in Pakistan in April 2002.

His lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, director of the human rights group Reprieve, said his client was innocent of any allegations relating to terrorism. But he added: "We do not ask anyone merely to accept Mr Mohamed's claims, but we do ask that he be given an open trial in which to present to a fair jury and that he be allowed access to the evidence with which to prove his case."

Mr Mohamed's legal team has instructed lawyers to challenge the British Government in court over its alleged retention of evidence that would prove Mr Mohamed had been tortured and rendered to Morocco.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor