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29 February 2024

British Guantanamo detainee released to UK

Protesters gather outside the American Embassy to call for the release of former UK resident Binyam Mohamed in London, England. (GETTY IMAGES)

By Reuters

A British detainee at the US military detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who drew international attention with his assertions that he was tortured while in CIA custody, is scheduled to arrive in Britain on Monday, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The detainee, Binyam Mohamed, who has been in US custody for nearly seven years, was held and interrogated in Pakistan and Morocco before being sent to Guantanamo, the Times reported. His release to Britain, news of which was leaked to the Times by his lawyers and British officials, ends an 18-month stand-off between the Washington and London.

It does not end an effort by Mohamed and his lawyers to obtain photographs Mohamed said were taken by an American woman showing injuries he contends were inflicted by torture in the course of interrogation.

American officials originally said Mohamed was part of a conspiracy to detonate a dirty bomb on American soil, but all charges against him were eventually dismissed.

US Embassy officials in London refused to comment on the case, the Times reported, saying they could not talk about future Guantanamo releases as a matter of policy.

The dispute over Mohamed's status involved US demands that he be placed under electronic surveillance and other controls in Britain.

Mohamed and his attorneys eventually agreed to restrictions including a prohibition on travel to the United States, the Times said, citing unnamed sources.