Britain’s role in the secret abduction of terror suspects came under intense new scrutiny with the return to the UK of Binyam Mohamed on Monday after more than four years in Guantanamo Bay.
Senior members of parliament said they intended to pursue ministers and officials over what they knew of his ill-treatment and why Britain helped the CIA interrogate him.
In a statement released shortly after he arrived in a US Gulfstream jet at RAF Northolt in west London, Mohamed said: “For myself, the very worst moment came when I realized in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence.”
Once inside the terminal building Mohamed met his sister for the fist time in more than seven years and in the most emotionally charged moment of the day they both cried and hugged.
Mohamed was released after several hours of questioning by police and immigration officials.
Clive Stafford Smith, his lawyer, spoke of a “fantastic day” after the long campaign to free his client, who spent weeks on hunger strike being force-fed at Guantanamo and looked “incredibly skinny and very emaciated.”
Binyam was “extraordinarily grateful to be back in Britain,” said Stafford Smith, who said he had “zero doubt” Britain was complicit in his client’s ill-treatment.
“Britain knew he was being abused and left him,” he said, referring to his secret abduction to Morocco where Mohamed says he was tortured. The lawyer also said his client was subjected to “very serious abuse” in Guantanamo.
Stafford Smith said that while his family was not vindictive, they wanted the truth to be known. Mohamed hoped to be allowed to remain in the UK.
“What we in Britain need to do is to make up for some of the things in the past and if the British government was, as I contend, deeply involved in the torture that Binyam had to go through, the least we can do is offer him his homeland,” Stafford Smith said.
Andrew Dismore, chairman of the Westminster parliament’s joint human rights committee, said he would lead a private meeting yesterday to consider where their inquiry goes next.
Separately, Mike Gapes, chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, said: “We will be pursuing the issue with ministers,” adding that his cross-party group had been trying to discover the UK’s role in the rendition of terror suspects for years.
His committee intended to question British Home Secretary David Miliband and Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch Brown over what he called “outstanding issues.” He said they included “rendition, what happened to people in Guantanamo Bay and black sites” — a reference to prisons in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
When Melinda Gates asked her husband, Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates, to let her coauthor the 2013 annual letter about their foundation, the conversation blew up into a fight. “It got hot,” Melinda Gates wrote in her 2019 book The Moment of Lift. “Bill said the process we had for the Annual Letter had been working well for the foundation for years, and he didn’t see why it should change,” she wrote. Ultimately, Bill Gates agreed for her to write a separate piece about contraceptives, while he penned the main letter about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work. In the next year’s letter,
Part of a huge rocket that launched China’s first module for its Tianhe space station is falling back to Earth and could make an uncontrolled re-entry at an unknown landing point. The 30m-high core of the Long March 5B rocket on Thursday launched the “Heavenly Harmony” uncrewed core module into low Earth orbit from Wenchang in China’s Hainan Province. The Long March 5B then itself entered a temporary orbit, setting the stage for one of the largest-ever uncontrolled re-entries. Some experts fear it could land on an inhabited area. “It’s potentially not good,” said Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard
Remnants of China’s largest rocket launched last week were expected to plunge back through the atmosphere late yesterday or early today, a US federally funded space-focused research and development center said. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that most debris from the rocket would be burned up on re-entry and is highly unlikely to cause any harm, after the US military said that what it called an uncontrolled re-entry was being tracked by US Space Command. In a Twitter post sent on Friday evening in the US, the Aerospace Corporation said that the latest prediction for the re-entry of
SPIKE LOOMING: Many scientists believe a lack of testing is resulting in a sharp undercounting of cases, with one model forecasting 1,018,879 deaths by the end of July The COVID-19 wave that plunged India into the world’s biggest health crisis has the potential to worsen in coming weeks, with some research models projecting that the death toll could more than double from present levels. A team at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru used a mathematical model to predict that about 404,000 deaths would occur by June 11 if current trends continue. A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington forecast 1,018,879 deaths by the end of July. While COVID-19 cases can be hard to predict, particularly in a sprawling nation like