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Binyam Mohamed

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 12 February 2009

On 5 February I made an oral statement to the House on the case of Mr. Binyam Mohamed, following the judgment handed down in the High Court on 4 February. As I underlined in the debate that followed, we are working as fast and as hard as we can to secure Mr. Mohamed’s release from Guantanamo Bay and return to the UK.

I now wish to update the House regarding progress made in Mr. Mohamed’s case.

Senior Government officials, including Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States, have held further talks with the US Administration in recent days. President Obama issued Executive Orders on 22 January which established a review of the cases of all those detained at Guantanamo Bay. Following our representations, the US Administration has now agreed that Mr. Mohamed’s case should be treated as a priority in this process. We continue to work with the US to achieve a swift resolution.

We have long been concerned with reports of Mr. Mohamed’s welfare and medical condition. Yesterday I met with Mr. Mohamed’s US military defence counsel, Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley, and her account underlined these concerns. The US Government has also agreed that Foreign Office officials should visit Mr. Mohamed as soon as possible. The visit will help us make preparations for his return, should the review confirm a decision to release him. The team will include a medical examiner, who would take part in any return, so that he may assess Mr. Mohamed’s condition himself and report back.

I will keep the House informed on this issue.