Mark Townsend and Paul Harris
The Observer, Sunday 8 February 2009
Lieutenant-Colonel Yvonne Bradley, an American military lawyer, will step through the grand entrance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in
But first, Bradley, a
Mohamed, who is suffering dramatic weight loss after a month-long hunger strike, has told Bradley, 45, that he is "very scared" of being attacked by guards, after witnessing a savage beating for a detainee who refused to be strapped down and have a feeding tube forced into his mouth. It is the first account Bradley has personally received of a detainee being physically assaulted in Guantánamo.
Bradley recently met Mohamed in
She said: "At least 50 people are on hunger strike, with 20 on the critical list, according to Binyam. The JTF [the Joint Task Force running Guantánamo] are not commenting because they do not want the public to know what is going on.
"Binyam has witnessed people being forcibly extracted from their cell. Swat teams in police gear come in and take the person out; if they resist, they are force-fed and then beaten. Binyam has seen this and has not witnessed this before.
"It is so bad that there are not enough chairs to strap them down and force-feed them for a two- or three-hour period to digest food through a feeding tube. Because there are not enough chairs the guards are having to force-feed them in shifts. After Binyam saw a nearby inmate being beaten it scared him and he decided he was not going to resist. He thought, 'I don't want to be beat, injured or killed.' Given his health situation, one good blow could be fatal," said Bradley.
"Binyam is continuing to lose weight and he is going to get worse. He has been told he is about to be released, but psychologically and physically he is declining."
It is conceivable that Mohamed himself may shortly return to
On Tuesday, the unprecedented dispute between Miliband and the judiciary is set to reignite when High Court judges Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones decide whether to reopen the case which Mohamed believes substantiates his torture claims.
The case was originally dismissed after the Bush administration asserted "state secrets privilege", indicating that it would endanger national security - the same argument used by Miliband. However, Obama has repeatedly stressed his willingness to be less secretive than his predecessor and a similar decision would lead to claims that the current administration is bent on suppressing evidence of torture.
Closer to home, the Observer has found evidence suggesting a broader unwillingness by
Suspicion is also growing that some sections of the
But if Mohamed survives to come back to
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