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Monday, February 16, 2009

UK Guantanamo detainee medically cleared for potential release
Tarah Park at 12:14 PM ET

[JURIST] UK resident and Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Binyam Mohamed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was found by British authorities on Sunday to be healthy enough to return to the UK if the US government acquiesces to the request for his release. A group sent to the prison by UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [official website], which included a doctor, worked with Guantanamo medical staff over the weekend and determined [Guardian report] that the Ethiopian-born detainee did not have any immediate medical problems that would prevent him from traveling back overseas once he is cleared to do so. Mohamed, who ended his hunger strike [PA report] Wednesday after learning from UK human rights group Reprieve [advocacy website] that his release could come within the week, had petitioned [AP report] the British government, through his US military attorney Yvonne Bradley, to pressure the Obama administration for his release. The US government began a review [JURIST report] of all Guantanamo cases over the weekend, and Bradley is hopeful that with the review and Mohamed's medical clearance, he will be approved to return to the UK.

Mohamed was arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2004 on suspicion of war crimes in connection with his alleged involvement with al Qaeda attacks on the US. The charges against him were dismissed [JURIST report] last October. Mohamed asserts that after he was arrested in Pakistan and turned over to US officials, he was then transferred to Moroccan agents who tortured him. In December, he asked the UK government [letter, DOC; JURIST report] to ensure that photographic evidence of his alleged torture be preserved.






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