Posts Tagged ‘Binyam Mohamed’

Torture is a crime, not a state secret

February 14, 2010

It’s a convenient argument for both governments, but the Binyam Mohamed ruling will not harm UK-US intelligence co-operation

The UK court ruling in the case of Binyam Mohamed demonstrates once more that judges on both sides of the Atlantic have had enough of governments hiding behind national security “secrets” to shield themselves from their many trespasses in the “war on terror”.

The court’s decision to publish a seven-paragraph summary of intelligence given to MI5 by the CIA has been met by the convenient, and wholly unbelievable, argument from British and American officials that the release could damage intelligence co-operation and sharing between the two allies.

The British foreign secretary, David Miliband, has argued that keeping the summary secret was vital to ensuring that the US continues to share vital intelligence with the British security services. The White House only played up this threat after the decision was handed down.

“We’re deeply disappointed with the court’s judgment because we shared this information in confidence and with certain expectations,” White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said. “As we warned, the court’s judgment will complicate the confidentiality of our intelligence-sharing relationship with the UK, and it will have to factor into our decision-making going forward.”

There are two important things to remember when analysing Miliband and the White House’s arguments concerning the “intelligence” released on the treatment of Ethiopian-born British resident Binyam Mohamed while he was in US custody.

First, the seven-paragraph summary details that the interrogation practices endured by Mohamed while in American custody during 2002 constituted “at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”. It reveals nothing besides the fact the US and its proxies resorted to barbarous methods to extract information from captives they believed were al-Qaida terrorists.

Second, far more damning information on Mohamed’s torture was published last year by a US court. In November 2009, US District Judge Gladys Kessler granted the habeus corpus petition of Gitmo detainee Farhi Saeed Bin Mohammed – another indicator of the cross-Atlantic return of the rule of law. The prisoner had been held indefinitely without charge at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, based partly on Mohamed’s confessions to US interrogators. There was one problem, however: US interrogators coerced Mohamed’s allegations against Mohammed through torture. “The government does not challenge Petitioner’s evidence of Binyam Mohamed’s abuse,” Kessler wrote in her decision. It’s important to note that the “abuse” Mohamed says he endured during his detention included having his genitals slashed by a razor.

In short order, the information the British court ordered released yesterday was neither intelligence nor secret. What it did show, however, was what we already knew. The US had systematically tortured detainees it deemed terrorists without due process, and British intelligence was complicit.

Therefore the probability the United States would jeopardise its intelligence-sharing relationship with the United Kingdom over the Mohamed release is remote. It would demonstrate that the United States values protecting its lawless practices overseas more than the national security of its greatest ally. Imagine the public relations disaster if the British public learned the United States did not share intelligence of an imminent terrorist attack because of this judicial decision. Fortunately, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the head of the US intelligence community, has already played down any break in the cross-Atlantic alliance. “This court decision creates additional challenges, but our two countries will remain united in our efforts to fight against violent extremist groups,” yesterday’s statement read.

So when the Milibands and White House apparatchiks of this world claim that exposing state crimes jeopardises the government’s ability to protect its citizens from terrorist atrocities, it’s important to remember the words of the radical political philosopher Michael Bakunin:

“There is no horror, no cruelty, sacrilege, or perjury, no imposture, no infamous transaction, no cynical robbery, no bold plunder or shabby betrayal that has not been or is not daily being perpetrated by the representatives of the states, under no other pretext than those elastic words, so convenient and yet so terrible: ‘for reasons of state’.”

Torture is a crime; it is not a state secret.

The torture memos show how illegal wars turn even the nicest people bad

February 13, 2010

The deceit, the slaughter, the atrocity, the abuse of human rights. Today, Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil is everywhere

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian/UK, Feb 13, 2010

Something is wrong. A ­sensible, clean-living chap such as David ­Miliband wants nothing more ­sinister than to lead the Labour party, yet he finds himself consorting with spies, lawyers, rendition merchants and torturers. His only ­experience of coercion was waterboarding British school teachers with targets and red tape. Now he must defend the interrogators of Guantánamo and explain away the bloodstained cells of Pakistan and Morocco.

Whatever plaudits were due to ­Foreign Office lawyers during the ­Chilcot inquiry have been expunged by this week’s revelation of their antics in trying to conceal details of post-9/11 ­torture by British agents. The security services were clearly implicated in the brutal questioning of the Guantánamo inmate, Binyam Mohamed – treatment so bad as to render his trial unsafe and force his release.

Papers revealed by the high court depict a Foreign Office running about stamping on a stream of embarrassing disclosures, largely because Miliband was desperate not to seem a wimp in front of his hero, Hillary Clinton. We now know that both Miliband and the head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, told an untruth in asserting, as the latter said last October, that British security services do not practise torture, “nor do we collude in torture or solicit others to torture people on our behalf”.

While the definition of torture is moot, at least five relevant incidents in Guantánamo are admitted. On Wednesday, Miliband was forced to hire the maestro of Whitehall autocracy, Jonathan Sumption QC, to demand that the Master of the Rolls censor his damning judgment of Miliband to avoid giving further pain to ministers. We must assume that Miliband did not trust his own lawyers to do this dirty work. All this is because Britain believes that publishing details of what interrogators did to its residents would lead Washington to retaliate by not warning of an ­impending terror attack on London. The belief is absurd.

How did we reach this pass? The answer has taxed philosophers from Socrates to Hannah Arendt. Even the nicest people go to the bad when caught up in ill-conceived, illegal or unjust wars. Socrates wrestled with the duty of obedience to a stupid state. Arendt noted how easily officials drift down the path of horror when they lose sight of the point where morality calls on them to say no. They sink, she said, into “the banality of evil”.

The so-called war on terror saw a politically weak American president seek popularity in redefining a criminal act as a “war between states”. Tony Blair agreed. His assertion to the Chilcot inquiry that “9/11 changed everything” was self-serving. The attack was just the latest in a line of attempted terrorist atrocities by Islamist extremists, albeit one that succeeded horrifically.

To call such crimes acts of war gives them rhetorical force, but in no sense did al-Qaida or its imitators threaten the integrity or security of a western state. These countries are too strong for such threat to be meaningful. The only damage they can do beyond sudden carnage is self-inflicted, by governments that decide to react with exaggerated fear. Yet the pretence of “going to war” has unleashed two of the most destructive, costly and prolonged state-on-state aggressions in half a century.

What is extraordinary is the reluctance of British politics to bring a sense of proportion to the terrorist threat. Every agency of democracy, from parliament to the army, the police and the media, is directed at exaggerating the status and menace of al-Qaida – and thus at doing Osama bin Laden’s work for him.

Some politicians have clearly had doubts. At Chilcot, Jack Straw claimed to have proposed supporting, but not joining, America in Iraq. As it was, his overt backing for the war was, he boasts, critical since “if I had refused, the UK’s participation in the military action would not in practice have been possible”. Given his doubts and the weight of legal advice coming his way, it is hard to see him as anything but a man who lacked the courage of his convictions.

Other cabinet ministers are lining up to express their own doubts about Iraq, as they will one day do about Afghanistan. They say that war is “not my department”, that they “made Tony aware of my reservations”, that it was all America’s fault. Yet such was the deceit of these wars, such has been the ­slaughter, the atrocity against civilians, the torture of prisoners, the abuse of human rights – and so few the resignations – that Arendt’s banality of evil seems everywhere.

Tuesday’s Spectator debate on Afghanistan at the Royal Geographical Society, much attended by soldiers, had the jingoistic quality of Joan Littlewood’s Oh, What A Lovely War!. To the oft-repeated question, why are we there, speakers such as General Lord Guthrie and the historian Andrew Roberts pleaded the party line. It was “to make the streets of London safe”, to create a stable democratic state in Afghanistan that gave no house-room to al-Qaida, even if it took decades and even if the terrorists “moved elsewhere”.

Since this sounded like trying to empty the sea with a spoon, the case for war shifted over the course of the debate. It was to enable Britain “to be a real Nato force”, “to show itself to the world”, “to cut some ice”. The war became a manifestation of patriotism and national potency. Would it not be terrible to be another Germany, France, Sweden, Japan? War did not need just cause, or even efficacy, merely a noble epithet.

The case for being in Afghanistan has become an exercise in verbal sophistry. To Guthrie, we are killing Taliban “to stop them killing us”. To Roberts we are doing so to stop them setting off a dirty nuclear bomb, which would “spread cancer over a 30-mile radius”, a terrorist-appeasing fantasy debunked in John Mueller’s recent Atomic Obsession.

The truth is that mission creep has made this war largely ideological – witness constant ministerial references to Kabul ­corruption, to opium, warlordism and the treatment of women. The streets of London are not being saved in the plains of Helmand, any more than they would be if the fight went to the mountains of Waziristan or the hills of Yemen. To the war party, ­Islam is the problem. It is the regime that must be changed.

Yet an enemy that poses no concerted threat to western territory or western interests has been allowed to damage the west’s liberal tradition. Bush and Blair were brazenly unconcerned with international law. We now have it confirmed that they do not care for the Geneva conventions. Such hard-won restraints on the practice of war, such as not bombing civilian targets, not assassinating leaders, respecting cultural sites, treating prisoners humanely, and sustaining the rule of law back home, have been casually set aside.

Like all bad wars, those in Iraq and Afghanistan taint any who touch them. In the next few days, thousands of ­British troops will, yet again, have to fight to clear some Taliban for a while from some patch of Helmand. Ask the purpose of this fight and the answer makes no sense. The means of war may have advanced since the days of Athenian democracy, but the ends not at all.

Secret British files reveal US torture of detainee

February 11, 2010
Middle East Online, First Published 2010-02-11

Britain fought for months to block the release of the information

White House ‘deeply disappointed’ by British court ruling, says could affect future ‘cooperation’.

By Guy Jackson – LONDON

A former Guantanamo Bay inmate was shackled and warned he would “disappear” if he refused to cooperate with US interrogators, Britain revealed Wednesday after losing a lengthy court battle.

The British government sought to downplay suggestions that the publication of the previously secret information concerning the treatment of Binyam Mohamed would damage its intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States.

But the White House said it was “extremely disappointed” by the decision of the court and warned it could affect future US-British cooperation on intelligence.

The seven-paragraph summary was published after Foreign Secretary David Miliband lost his appeal court bid to prevent senior judges from disclosing it.

Britain fought for months to block the release of the information, arguing that doing so would undermine the US’ willingness to share sensitive information with Britain.

But High Court judges ruled there was “overwhelming” public interest in publishing the material and that the risk to national security was “not a serious one”.

The judges said the content of the summary, which describes Mohamed’s treatment as “cruel, inhuman and degrading”, was already in the public domain following a decision in December by a US court in another case.

The redacted information concerns what the CIA told British intelligence officials about “interviews” with Mohamed in Pakistan in 2002, two years before he was taken to Guantanamo.

The summary released by the court said that “at some stage during that further interview process by the United States authorities, BM had been intentionally subjected to continuous sleep deprivation.”

“It was reported that combined with the sleep deprivation, threats and inducements were made to him. His fears of being removed from United States custody and ‘disappearing’ were played upon,” it said.

The summary adds: “It was reported that the stress brought about by these deliberate tactics was increased by him being shackled in his interviews.”

Miliband said however that Britain had “no information” to corroborate Mohamed’s allegations that he had also been subjected to genital mutilation.

He also disclosed that police were investigating allegations of criminal actions by a British official linked to the case.

Ethiopian-born Mohamed, 31, had come to Britain in 1994 seeking asylum.

He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 while trying to return to Britain and spent nearly seven years in US custody or in countries taking part in the US-run rendition programme of terror suspects.

He claims that in Morocco in 2002 he was questioned using information which could only have come from the British intelligence service.

After a lengthy campaign by his supporters, he became the first prisoner to be released from Guantanamo under President Barack Obama and returned to Britain in February last year.

Miliband said he accepted the court’s judgement, but insisted that Britain’s intelligence-sharing relationship with the US had been at stake in the legal battle, not the content of the summary.

The minister told lawmakers he had spoken to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, and Britain would work with US officials to study the implications of the ruling “in the light of our shared goals and commitments.”

The White House criticised the judgment saying the information had been shared “in confidence and with certain expectations.”

“As we warned, the court’s judgment will complicate the confidentiality of our intelligence-sharing relationship with the UK, and it will have to factor into our decision-making going forward,” said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for President Barack Obama.

The director of Reprieve, the campaign group which has championed Mohamed’s case, accused the government of going to “enormous lengths” to prevent the disclosure of “this tiny fraction” of Binyam’s story.

“They still refuse to admit that he was abused,” said Clive Stafford Smith, adding that the newly released details “are only the tip of the iceberg.”

Judges order release of secret Binyam Mohamed torture evidence

February 10, 2010

Times Online, February 10, 2010

British Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed, who is facing a US  military trial on terrorism charges


Binyam Mohamed: held in Guantanamo

The Foreign Secretary David Miliband today lost his appeal court bid to prevent senior judges disclosing secret information relating to torture allegations in the case of Binyam Mohamed.

The former Guantanamo Bay detainee says that he was tortured in Pakistan while held by the CIA, with the knowledge of the British.

Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones want to disclose summaries of information held by the British security services. Mr Miliband, branded them “irresponsible” in an unprecedented attack on the judiciary, but today three of the country’s highest-ranking judges rejected both the minister’s accusations and his appeal.

The court rejected the Government’s claim that revealing the information would damage transatlantic intelligence co-operation.

Continues >>

British spy chief weighs into torture row

August 11, 2009
Morning Star Online, Monday 10 August 2009
by Paddy McGuffin
Printable page
There has been "no torture and no complicity in torture" by the MI6, according to its head Sir John Scarlett

There has been “no torture and no complicity in torture” by the MI6, according to its head Sir John Scarlett

The government and MI6 head Sir John Scarlett have been accused of hiding behind ambiguities in their claims that British secret service agents were not complicit in torture.

Senior government figures and the spy chief have attempted to distance themselves from allegations of involvement in the torture of terror suspects in foreign countries.

The government currently faces a number of legal actions from torture victims who maintain that MI5 or MI6 agents were involved in their interrogation.

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Home Secretary Alan Johnson wrote in a joint article for a national newspaper that there was no policy “to collude in, solicit or directly participate in abuses of prisoners” or to cover up alleged wrongdoing, although they added that it was not possible to “eradicate all risk.”

And in a highly unusual development, Mr Scarlett, who is usually content to remain in the shadows, emerged today in a bid to deflect criticism from MI6, stating that there was “no torture and no complicity in torture” by the British secret service.

He added that “our officers are as committed to the values and the human rights values of liberal democracy as anybody else.”

But responding to the comments, a spokesman for legal action charity Reprieve, which represents a number of torture victims, accused the spy chief and the government of a deliberate cover-up.

He said: “Like our government, the head of MI6 John Scarlett is hiding behind general statements rather than addressing specific allegations. This is simply not good enough.

“Failure to report torture is a serious crime. We would expect any citizen mixed up in such a crime to face the courts and governments should do the same.

“In the High Court case of Binyam Mohamed, the UK government has attempted to evade court scrutiny at every turn and behave increasingly as if they are above the law.”

Scotland Yard is conducting a criminal investigation into claims that MI5 was complicit in the abuse of Mr Mohamed, a British resident who alleges that he was tortured while being held at sites in Pakistan, Morocco and Afghanistan.

“The Foreign Secretary denies covering up evidence of involvement in torture. Why then is he refusing to release a summary, written by High Court judges and stripped of all security-sensitive information, of what happened to Binyam Mohamed?” demanded the spokesman.

Today also saw an influential Westminster committee demand that torture victims be granted the right to sue foreign states through the British legal system.

The joint committee on human rights, chaired by Labour MP Andrew Dismore, called on ministers to lift state immunity, rejecting government claims that the decision would breach international obligations.

The committee concluded: “The practical questions of foreign relations, enforcement and litigation procedure are important, but they are secondary to the issue we are examining, which is, should there be a civil remedy available in the UK to victims of torture at the hands of foreign states?

“We are of the strong opinion that there should.”

The committee has also called for a full public inquiry into the allegations, a demand which has been backed by campaign groups such as Amnesty International and Liberty.

A Number 10 spokesman rejected the demands.

U.S. battling CIA rendition case in 3 courts

August 10, 2009

The Obama administration is fighting on multiple fronts – in courts in San Francisco, Washington and London – to keep an official veil of secrecy over the treatment of a former prisoner who says he was tortured at Guantanamo Bay.

The administration has asked a federal appeals court in San Francisco to reconsider its ruling allowing Binyam Mohamed and four other former or current prisoners to sue a Bay Area company for allegedly flying them to overseas torture chambers for the CIA.

Continued >>

Bowing to America’s ‘naked political power’

August 3, 2009

Suppressing evidence of torture, as the US is asking Britain to do in the Binyam Mohamed case, is a criminal offence

Over the weekend, the government has identified another way to embarrass itself.

Karen Steyn is the barrister representing David Miliband, who has been arguing that we must suppress evidence of torture in the case of Binyam Mohamed. On Saturday, the high court judges sent the foreign secretary a transcript of their interrogation of Steyn for him to confirm in writing whether he really means what she says.

The issue at stake is whether the government really wants to suppress seven paragraphs that apparently include American admissions that they tortured Mohamed. First, Steyn confirmed that the material that she wanted suppressed had no intelligence value – it did not “conceivably identify anything that is of a national security interest”, it simply identified criminal acts of torture.

Continues >>

British Foreign Secretary: Clinton threatened to cut-off intelligence-sharing if torture evidence is disclosed

August 1, 2009

Glenn Greenwald |, July 31, 2009

I’ve written several times before about the amazing quest of Binyam Mohamed — a British resident released from Guantanamo in February, 2009 after seven years in captivity — to compel public disclosure of information in the possession of the British Government proving he was tortured while in U.S. custody.  At the center of Mohamed’s efforts lie the claims of high British government officials that the Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to cut off intelligence-sharing programs with the U.K. if the British High Court discloses information which British intelligence officials learned from the CIA about how Mohamed was tortured.  New statements from the British Foreign Secretary yesterday — claiming that Hillary Clinton personally re-iterated those threats in a May meeting — highlight how extreme is this joint American/British effort to cover-up proof of Mohamed’s torture.

Continues >>

CIA ‘put pressure on Britain to cover up its use of torture’

July 28, 2009

By David Rose | The Daily Mail/UK, July 25, 2009

Binyam Mohamed
‘Sensitive information’: The treatment of Binyam Mohamed is at the centre of a security row

The CIA has been secretly pressuring the British Government to help it cover up its use of torture, documents filed in the High Court have revealed.

The documents, to be discussed at a hearing this week, suggest that the UK authorities did everything they could to accede to the CIA’s wishes while at the same time trying to conceal the fact they were talking to the agency.

It is the latest twist in the saga of Binyam Mohamed, 30, the Ethiopian UK resident released from Guantanamo Bay in February after seven years in US captivity.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday earlier this year, he told how he was captured in Pakistan, interrogated by the CIA, tortured, then sent to Morocco for further ‘medieval’ torture on a CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ flight.

After 18 months there, he was tortured again in the CIA’s ‘dark prison’ in Afghanistan. He alleged that UK officials from MI5 were ‘complicit’ in his ordeal.

In a judgment in July last year, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones wrote a seven-paragraph summary of Mr Mohamed’s treatment, based on documents by US intelligence officials. The judges said this amounted to evidence he was tortured.

But the summary has been ‘redacted’ because Foreign Secretary David Miliband insists that if the court were to publish it, US intelligence agencies would cease to share information with Britain, so damaging UK security.

The court will make a final decision about publication after the hearing this week.

The only piece of evidence Mr Miliband’s lawyers have produced is a letter, redacted, unsigned and undated, with its letterhead concealed, which, they say, summarises the views of US President Barack Obama’s administration.

It states: ‘Public disclosure of the information contained in the seven paragraphs could likely result in serious damage to UK and US national security.

‘If it is determined that HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] is unable to protect information we provide to it, even if that inability is caused by your judicial system, we will necessarily have to review with the greatest care the sensitivity of information we can provide in future.’

After an order from the judges, Government lawyers were forced to admit the letter had been sent to an unnamed officer in MI6, and had been written by someone at the CIA.

Former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said it was ‘deeply disappointing that the British Government seems to have been prepared to do the CIA’s bidding’.

Binyam blames UK for mistreatment

March 13, 2009

BBC News,  March 13, 2009

Binyam Mohamed

A UK resident freed from Guantanamo Bay has said he would not have faced torture or extraordinary rendition but for British involvement in his case.

US interrogators told him, “This is the British file and this is the American file,” Binyam Mohamed, 30, told the BBC in his first broadcast interview.

He said he wanted to see ex-President George Bush put on trial and, if there was evidence, former UK PM Tony Blair.

The UK says it does not condone torture, but will investigate claims.

The US, which has dropped all charges against Mr Mohamed, says he has a history of making unsubstantiated claims.

BBC News reporter Jon Manel, who conducted the interview at a secret location, said that Mr Mohamed looked “very thin” and claimed to be suffering from health problems.

Mr Mohamed, who spoke to the media against the advice of his psychiatrist because he wanted people to know what happened to him, described his return to the UK last month.

Feelings of happiness and sadness, I still don’t have them. As far as I am concerned, nothing matters
Binyam Mohamed

“I didn’t feel like I was free. Even now I don’t feel that I’m free,” he said.

“It’s been seven years of literal darkness that I have been through. Coming back to life is taking me some time.”

He added: “I don’t have the regular person’s feelings that people have. The feelings of happiness and sadness, I still don’t have them.

“As far as I am concerned, nothing matters.”

The former terror suspect said that the six years and 10 months he spent in detention had left him feeling “dead”.

MI5 involvement

While detained in Pakistan, Mr Mohamed said he was interviewed for three hours by an MI5 officer calling himself John whose role, according to Mr Mohamed, was to support the American interrogators.

“If it wasn’t for the British involvement right at the beginning of the interrogations in Pakistan, and suggestions that were made by MI5 to the Americans of how to get me to respond, I don’t think I would have gone to Morocco,” he said.

“It was that initial help that MI5 gave to America that led me through the seven years of what I went through.”

The MI5 agent who questioned him has previously denied at the British High Court any suggestion that he threatened or put any pressure on Mr Mohamed.

In the ‘dark prison’ I was … dead. I didn’t exist. I wasn’t there. There was no day, there was no night
Binyam Mohamed

During the interview, Mr Mohamed’s lawyer prevented him from answering questions about travel documents he had used to get to Afghanistan and a training camp he attended.

This was because Mr Mohamed’s immigration status is currently under review.

Mr Mohamed said that in July 2002 he was flown to a secret site in Morocco where, he claimed, he was tortured by local officers asking him questions supplied by British intelligence operatives and showing him hundreds of photographs of Muslim men living in the UK.

“The interrogator who was showing me the file would say, ‘This is the British file and this is the American file.'”

Mr Mohamed said that 70% of questions put to him had to have come from sources in the UK.

In the UK, the attorney general is continuing a review into whether to ask police to investigate allegations of British collusion in mistreatment of Mr Mohamed.

His lawyers have previously placed on record claims that the torture included a razor being used to slash his genitals.

Special agent

Mr Mohamed said his mistreatment began soon after he was arrested in Pakistan in early 2002.

In the interview, extracts of which were broadcast on Radio 4’s Today programme, he said he was questioned by a middle-aged man with a ponytail claiming to be “Jim from the FBI”.

Jim reportedly said he was a special agent sent from Washington to ask questions on behalf of the White House.

He asked about Mr Mohamed’s alleged role in a plot to detonate a dirty bomb in the US, which Mr Mohamed said was a “fantasy”.

The former detainee told the BBC he had never been involved in any plots and had not attended terrorist training camps before 9/11.

Asked if he had been an al-Qaeda operative, he replied: “I don’t even know what that means because how am I supposed to be an al-Qaeda operative?

“How do you become an al-Qaeda operative?”

Camp closure

In January 2004, Mr Mohamed said he was taken to a place he calls the “dark prison” in the Afghan capital, Kabul, where he said he almost lost his mind.

He claimed he was put in a dark cell with just a blanket on the floor.

Speakers attached to the walls pumped out music by the American rapper Eminem 24 hours a day for a month.

“In the ‘dark prison’ I was literally dead. I didn’t exist. I wasn’t there. There was no day, there was no night.”

Following his experiences in Kabul, Mr Mohamed signed a confession which he said he agreed to only because he was told he would be flown back to the “dark prison” if he didn’t co-operate.

Shortly after this he was sent to Guantanamo Bay where, he said, guards attacked him for refusing to give his fingerprints.

He claimed abuses at the camp had increased since President Barack Obama announced his intention to close it within a year.

On Thursday, a Home Office spokesperson said: “The government unreservedly condemns the use of torture as a matter of fundamental principle and works hard with its international partners to eradicate this abhorrent practice worldwide.

“The security and intelligence agencies do not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or inhumane or degrading treatment.”

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