In December 2003, after a row with his wife, Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, took a tour bus from Ulm in southern Germany to Macedonia. At the border crossing his name was flagged by a police computer: it was identical to that of one of the 9/11 hijackers. He was removed from the coach and handed over to three US intelligence agents.

He was held in a hotel in Skopje for several weeks before being flown to Kabul and put in prison for five months. He was then flown back to Europe in May 2004, dumped in a remote forest area between Albania, Serbia and Macedonia, without money or papers, and told to “walk in that direction and don’t look back”.

Documents provided by Eurocontrol showed the plane transferring him from Macedonia to Afghanistan flew from Algeria to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on January 22; from Palma de Mallorca to Skopje, Macedonia, on January 23, and from Skopje to Kabul via Baghdad overnight on January 24.

Binyam Mohamed sought political asylum in Britain in 1994 and was given leave to remain while his case was dealt with. He remained in Britain for 7 years during which time two sets of lawyers were dismissed from his case for failing to pursue his claims in a timely manner.

He developed a drug habit, which he only managed to overcome when he rediscovered his religious faith. He decided to leave Britain to escape London’s drug scene and to learn more about his religion in Afghanistan.

When the war started, he decided to leave the region but his travel documents had been stolen and he couldn’t get to the British Embassy, as it was surrounded by Pakistanis keen to abduct ‘foreigners’ for whom the Americans were offering bounty payments.

A British friend agreed to lend him a passport so he could get back to Britain, but he was arrested at the airport by a Pakistani immigration unit who turned him over to the FBI. He asked what crime he had committed, and insisted on having a lawyer if he was going to be interrogated. The FBI told him, ‘The rules have changed. You don’t get a lawyer.’

On 21st July 2002 Binyam was transferred to Morocco in a CIA plane, where he was held for 18 months. When he refused to confess to being an Al-Qaida agent, he was tortured:

‘One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony, crying, trying desperately to suppress myself, but I was screaming… They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over.’

In January 2004 he was transferred to the “Dark Prison” in Kabul, then to Bagram Airforce base, and finally on to Guantanamo Bay in September 2004, where he remains.

These stories form the core of a must-see documentary video about rendition and torture, which you can see by clicking here.

Advertisements