Posted on 24 February 2009 by Jim Walrod
Binyam Mohamed, a gaunt-looking, bearded man wearing a cream sweater, white tennis shoes and a white skullcap, stepped off a chartered jet at a British air base Monday after a 10-hour trip from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, closing a dark chapter in his life that he claims included torture.
His release by the Obama administration followed a hunger strike and international outrage that he spent seven years in U.S. custody for crimes that even the Americans now say they can’t prove.
Accompanied by British police, a doctor and Foreign Office officials, Mohamed, 30, arrived at RAF Northolt near London shortly after 1 p.m. After his capture in Pakistan in 2002, U.S. officials accused him of training with al Qaida and plotting an attack with a radioactive “dirty” bomb.
Even before his plane landed, he blasted American and British officials, who he charges were complicit in his alleged abuse.
“I have been through an experience that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares,” said Mohamed’s statement, which his lawyers released. “Before this ordeal, ‘torture’ was an abstract word to me. I could never have imagined that I would be its victim. It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next and tortured in medieval ways, all orchestrated by the United States government.”
During a medical examination at Guantanamo about 10 days ago, a British doctor who’d been sent to assess Mohamed’s fitness to travel reportedly found him suffering from bruises, organ damage, stomach complaints, malnutrition, sores on his hands and feet and severe damage to ligaments, as well as emotional and psychological damage.