The Progressive


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For Immediate Release

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Binyam Mohamed's Release 'Not a Moment Too Soon,' Says Amnesty International

Others Must Not Languish at Guantanamo, Urges Human Rights Organization


Amnesty International welcomed news that U.K. resident Binyam Mohamed is soon to be released from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, but called for other prisoners to also be immediately released or allowed fair trials.

Amnesty International U.K. director Kate Allen said:

"It's a huge relief that Binyam Mohamed is finally getting out of Guantanamo, but his release won't be a moment too soon.

"It's nothing short of a disgrace that Binyam has been held in harsh conditions for all these years, having to resort to a hunger strike to raise awareness of his plight.

"The immediate focus should now be on providing medical and other support for Binyam on his return to the United Kingdom, but we also need a proper independent inquiry into Binyam's case and allegations of a cover-up of torture, as well as into the wider practice of rendition and secret detention.

"The U.K. government should also now press for the release of Shaker Aamer and Ahmed Belbacha -- two other men with longstanding links to the United Kingdom -- and it should assist moves to close the camp by offering humanitarian protection to vulnerable prisoners who need a place to go to."

Speaking of Binyam Mohamed's present weakened state, his U.S. military lawyer Yvonne Bradley said:

"I've seen the constant decline in his physical and mental health in the three years that I've been representing Binyam at Guantanamo and I'm naturally very concerned for his future welfare.

"I've repeatedly requested a full mental health evaluation from the camp authorities for Binyam, but they've flatly refused. It's now time for Binyam to get expert healthcare in aiding his full recovery from what has been an unbelievable personal ordeal for him."

Some 240 prisoners are still held at the prison camp, with an estimated 50 currently on hunger strike--many of whom are being force-fed. Some 60 men are known to be at risk of torture or persecution if returned to their home countries, and while the United States may permit some of the men to be admitted to the U.S. mainland, the remaining detainees are likely to need humanitarian protection in other countries upon release.

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization.

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