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UK appeals court orders release of details on ex-Guantanamo detainee's treatment

[JURIST] The England and Wales Court of Appeal [official website] on Wednesday ruled [judgment text] that the government must disclose the seven previously withheld paragraphs outlining the alleged torture of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed [JURIST news archives]. In rejecting the government's appeal, the court found that, "publication of the redacted paragraphs would not reveal information which would be of interest to a terrorist or criminal or provide any potential material of value to a terrorist or a criminal." British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband [official profile] accepted the court's decision and disclosed [press release] the information, but emphasized [BBC report] the importance of the intelligence relationship between the US and Britain. Advocacy groups such as Amnesty International UK [advocacy website] welcomed the court's ruling and called for additional inquiries [press release] into the British government's involvement with the torture.

Wednesday's ruling ends the long-running legal battle to keep the information classified. In December, British government lawyers argued that two UK High Court judges acted irresponsibly when they ruled that the details of the detention must be released [JURIST reports]. This was following an interim ruling [JURIST report] by Lord Justice Thomas and Justice Lloyd Jones that redacted the release. Last November, a separate judge on the High Court ruled that, in Mohamed's separate suit for damages, information relating to his treatment at Guantanamo Bay may be withheld [JURIST report] under a "closed material procedure." Mohamed was returned to the UK in February 2009, after charges against him were dismissed [JURIST reports] in October 2008. Mohamed had been held at Guantanamo Bay for four years on suspicion of conspiracy to commit terrorism [JURIST report].

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