British government defends secrecy over Guantanamo

The British government Thursday rejected calls to press the new US administration to release confidential intelligence material relating to torture allegations at Guantanamo Bay, dpa reported.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband told parliament he would not press the government of President Barack Obama to release information relating to Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held at Guantanamo.

Opposition parties, lawyers and civil rights campaigners in Britain have said the US government should release the evidence "in the public interest."

Miliband, insisting that Britain would "never condone, authorize or cooperate in torture," said that publication of highly classified material provided by the US could cause "real and significant damage" to Britain's security and harm relations with the US.

He was referring to a ruling by two British High Court judges Wednesday to withhold US evidence on the treatment of Mohamed, a 30- year-old Ethiopian who has alleged torture at Guantanamo Bay.

The judges revealed that pressure had been exerted on them not to publish relevant passages of a verdict relating to Mohamed's case.

The affair has caused uproar in Britain where civil rights campaigners have accused the US government of "bullying" and "blackmail," while opposition parties have alleged that the government was involved in a cover-up operation.

"This smacks of a cover-up unless the government comes clean," Liberal Party leader Nick Clegg said.

While the government should be able to protect some sensitive information, it was "unacceptable to conceal the circumstances around the alleged torture of this individual," said Clegg.

Pauline Neville-Jones, a former chairwoman of the government's Joint Intelligence Committee, said she hoped the US government would decide to release details of the case "in the public interest."

"When there is a suggestion of wrongdoing we do have to try to find a way through," she told the BBC.

Miliband said he had discussed Mohamed's case with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during their meeting in Washington earlier this week.

"I did indeed raise the case of the remaining Guantanamo detainees of British residency status when I met Secretary Clinton on Tuesday and I confirmed and reiterated to her that we remain determined to secure their release and return," he said.

Only the Americans could make a decision about whether to release the intelligence material, said Miliband.

"To that extent I am not going to join a lobbying campaign against the American government for this decision. It's a decision they have to make given their knowledge of the full facts in respect of the sources they depend on and the resources that they do not want to compromise."

US State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood told reporters in Washington that the United States was grateful for British government commitment to protecting intelligence.

"One of the things I want to make clear is that we really thank the United Kingdom for its continued commitment to protecting sensitive national security information and to preserve our longstanding intelligence-sharing relationship," Wood said.

Mohamed, who alleges that he was tortured by US agents in Pakistan, Morocco and Afghanistan between 2002 and 2004, has said that British secret agencies were complicit in the practice.

He has been held at the US prison camp in Cuba since 2004 and alleged that he was beaten, scalded and blasted with music, and that his genitals were repeatedly sliced with a razor blade, according to British press reports Thursday.

The detainee, who came to Britain as an asylum-seeker in 1994, is one of three British residents the government has said it will accept when Guantanamo is closed.

He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 as he attempted to fly to Britain on a false British passport and later charged by the US authorities with planning a "dirty bomb" attack on a US city. The charges were later dropped.

Mohamed is reported to have been on hunger strike and "close to death," according to the Guardian Thursday.

The paper quoted Lieutenant Colonel Yvonne Bradley, a US military lawyer who visited Mohamed last week, as saying: "The real worry is that he comes out in a coffin."

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Weekly actual topics in Azerbaijan (April 16-20)
Weekly actual topics in Azerbaijan (April 16-20)
Weekly tenders in the region (April 16-20)
Weekly tenders in the region (April 16-20)
Last week’s laws, orders and decrees in Azerbaijan (April 16-20)
Last week’s laws, orders and decrees in Azerbaijan (April 16-20)
Loading Bars
Latest
Turkey discloses cargo traffic via local Ambarli port for 10M2021
Belgium pushing to develop economic relations with Iran
Reopening of industrial companies in Iran triggers return of workers
Russia greenlights tomato, apple supplies from more Azerbaijani enterprises
Uzbekneftegaz obtains industrial gas flow from South Kemachi field
Azerbaijani currency rates for December 7
Putin, Biden will particularly discuss operation of diplomatic missions — Kremlin
VISA supports Azerbaijan in digital banks dev’t
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for December 6
Azerbaijan discloses plan for strategic for dev’t of agrarian sector on liberated lands
Oil extends gains on easing Omicron fears, Iran delay
Azerbaijani MoD expresses condolences to Pakistan regarding military crash victims
India's COVID-19 tally rises to 34,648,383
Talks between Putin and Biden scheduled for 18:00 Moscow Time - White House
Kazakhstan’s AIFC aims to promote Green Investment Principle among financial institutions in Central Asia
Israel reports outbreak of bird flu at southern farm
Death toll from Java volcanic eruption rises to 22
IOC respects US’ decision to boycott upcoming Beijing Olympics
Mixing Pfizer, AstraZ COVID-19 shots with Moderna gives better immune response -UK study
France extends mask mandate in schools, orders nightclubs to close
UN chief names US diplomat Stephanie Williams to run Libya mediation
Iran ready for resultative talks on nuclear deal - top diplomat
Israel reports 10 new cases of Omicron variant
New York mayor plans vaccination mandate for private-sector employers
Russia, India to expand energy cooperation, says statement
IRICA reveals data on Iran’s trade turnover with ECO member states
Raisi: Iran welcomes development of ties with UAE
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan identify priority issues for cooperation
Saakashvili: reconciliation is the best option for everyone
Azerbaijan sends 100,000 vaccines to Burkina Faso
US announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics
Azerbaijani FM, US Assistant Secretary of State discuss latest situation in region
Armenia seen that, whole world seen that, no-one been able to stop us - President Ilham Aliyev
Israel lifts tariffs on dairy imports to cut prices
Young grew up who did not see Karabakh, they liberated Karabakh at cost of their lives – President Ilham Aliyev (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sports talks about appointment of new deputy minister
I tell them to give us date of when Zangazur corridor will be opened - President Ilham Aliyev to Armenia (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan discloses volume of oil exported to Turkey in 10M2021
Azerbaijani deputy defense minister leaves for Moscow
Forecast of Azerbaijani State Oil Fund’s total management costs for 2022 revealed
Turkmenistan approves anti-crisis program for 2022
Volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from Morocco for 10M2021 revealed
Ministry shares data on volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from Belgium for 10M2021
Volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from China for 10M2021 unveiled
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Germany for 10M2021
Cost of goods transported via sea up in Azerbaijan
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit monument to national leader Heydar Aliyev in Guba (PHOTO/VIDEO)
SOFAZ asset management revenue forecast for 2022 unveiled
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on December 7
Azerbaijan is creating social zone in industrial park of liberated Jabrayil district- ministry
Turkmenistan continues oil prospecting work on Cheleken peninsula
Uzbekistan shares data on import of potatoes in 10M2021
Price indexes of construction, trade sectors at Uzbek stock exchange fall
Galt & Taggart shares data on Georgia’s bonds on London Stock Exchange
Uzbekistan unveils volume of exports and imports
Georgia’s persimmon exports continue to increase
Russia remains main importer of Georgia’s tangerines
Uzbekistan reveals volume of tomato exports for 10M2021
Uzbek Statistics Committee shares data on foreign trade turnover
Kazakhstan’s oil and gas company opens tender to supply electric pump
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Albania for 10M2021
Eurostat reveals data on Czechia's import of petroleum oils from Azerbaijan
Vegetable pathogen detected in batch of pepper imported to Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan’s National Bank discloses inflation expectations
Turkmenistan talks demand on local aviation, lighting kerosene among foreign clients
Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences talks demographic indicators of Karabakh, East Zangazur
Kazakhstan talks forecasted growth level of GDP for late 2021
All 6 Israel policymakers voted to keep key rate at 0.1%
Iran reaches increase in load/unloaded operations at Amirabad port
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 585 more COVID-19 cases, 944 recoveries
Iran's Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise full speed
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd to purchase spare parts for pumps via tender
Azerbaijan talks 4G network coverage in liberated territories
Iran’s Nakhlak Lead Mining Complex boosts production
Kazakh-Chinese bitumen plant opens tender for vehicles rent
Act of amnesty covers 16 foreign citizens in Azerbaijan
Tesla did not want to wait on EU aid - German economy minister
Austrian President swears in Karl Nehammer as new Chancellor
Iran’s CBI general director talks foreign currency exchange activity data
Unemployment in Israel fell sharply in November
Oil and gas production dep’t of Turkmenistan’s Turkmennebit SC exceeds production plan
Volume of natural gas transportation via Serbian-Hungarian interconnector revealed
Field rearranging underway on Serbian-Hungarian gas interconnector route
Iran not to follow 'plan B' while in Vienna nuclear talks - FM
Georgian business sector sees increase in turnover
Kazakh National Bank announces its decision for base rate
Kazakhstan reveals GDP growth in 10M2021
Azerbaijan working on flight recorder of crashed helicopter - Prosecutor General's Office
UK to block poor-performing companies from winning public work
Croatia confirms its first two cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant
Balacans Agro Food LLC, Azerbaijan Investment Company sign agreement (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to consider joining int'l documents on intellectual property protection
Oil majors to mitigate demand fluctuation with digital twins
SOFAZ sees significant increase in Shah Deniz revenues
Azerbaijan shares data on number of freed convicts as part of act of amnesty
Annual inflation rate slightly slows down in Kazakhstan
SOFAZ discloses revenues from Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli
Azerbaijan shares data on number of people covered by Act of Amnesty so far
TBC Capital publishes Georgia’s weekly economic review
All news