16 November 2010
The UK government has today publicly confirmed that it has settled the claims of several former Guantanamo detainees who have alleged UK complicity in their extraordinary rendition and torture.
The settlement represents the culmination of lengthy legal proceedings brought by Leigh Day & Co and two other law firms against the Security Services, FCO and the Home Office.
Leigh Day & Co represents Binyam Mohamed, who spent almost seven years detained in Pakistan, Morocco, Afghanistan and finally Guantanamo Bay, during which he was brutally tortured and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. Documents revealed through previous proceedings brought by Leigh Day & Co and the organisation Reprieve on behalf of Mr Mohamed confirmed that while he was detained in Pakistan, MI5 received information from the US that he was being subjected to a regime of sleep deprivation, shackling and threats, which was causing him significant mental distress and suffering.
Despite this, and in the knowledge that Mr Mohamed was being held in incommunicado detention at a secret location, the Security Services proceeded to facilitate Mr Mohamed’s interrogations for another year, passing questions to the US to put to him. During this period, Mr Mohamed was subjected to some of the most extreme forms of physical abuse he sustained. Last year, the High Court found that the Government's involvement in Mr Mohamed's abuse went 'well beyond that of a bystander or witness'.
Sapna Malik, the Leigh Day partner representing Binyam Mohamed in his civil proceedings, commented that: '”The settlement of the damages claims marks the culmination of one stage in the quest for justice and accountability for the men. However, the allegations will not go away and there remain serious questions to answer. There is an ongoing investigation by the Metropolitan police into the torture complicity allegations in Mr Mohamed’s case, looking at individual culpability. And then there is the impending Inquiry to be held by Sir Peter Gibson, upon whose shoulders it now falls to fully and openly investigate the catalogue of allegations and the mounting evidence brought by Mr Mohamed and others and the deeply troubling systemic concerns they raise.”
For further information, please contact Sapna Malik on 0207 650 1222.
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