» Monday, March 15, 2004

Guantanamo Bay

Asked the Prime Minister’s reaction to allegations of mistreatment by former British detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the PMOS said that as we had made clear last week, representatives of the UK had met with the British detainees a total of seven times. This was more often than any other country had met with their nationals at the camp. The allegations about beatings and so on had not been raised with our officials at the time. Any complaints that had been raised, such as access to sunlight, had been passed on to the authorities. Asked if the allegations about mistreatment had been raised when the former detainees had been interviewed at Paddington Green on their return to the UK when they would have felt safer talking about them, the PMOS pointed out again that other concerns had been raised at Guantanamo Bay and had been dealt with subsequently. If there were other issues, there was no reason why they should not have been raised then as well. Questioned as to whether the UK had passed on the allegations about mistreatment to Washington, the PMOS said that the US authority handling with the issue was the Pentagon. As he understood it, they had denied the allegations.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. This is sickening – their own citizens have been held without trial for 2 years and allege mistreatment, and all they can say is that they should have raised it earlier. Don’t forget these individuals were also witnesses to US involvement in the Northern Alliance massacres. Regardless of their folly in travelling through Afghanistan at the time of the US/UK attack, it is beyond belief that the government washes its hands of them in this way.

    If we are committed to the International Court and the war crimes process in the Hague then why should we not take seriously and (at least) investigate their allegations. If witnesses or victims of mistreatment were shunned like this in any other context we would all be rightly appalled.

    Comment by Lee Bryant — 15 Mar 2004 on 5:09 pm | Link
  2. The US is not a party to the International Court and so whatever happened in Guantanamo Bay, the former detainees can’t take a case there. Any allegations of mistreatment are a matter for the US authorities anyway. I really don’t know why anyone would say that the UK government should do anything. However, it’s not new for British citizens detained overseas to expect the British authorities to pay them compensation. This was the demand (in connection with his detention in Russia from 1804-1809) which propelled John Bellingham to assassinate Spencer Perceval in 1812.

    Comment by David Boothroyd — 15 Mar 2004 on 5:36 pm | Link
  3. Now there is a precedent for Tony the lawyer to think about.

    Comment by Red Robbo — 15 Mar 2004 on 5:45 pm | Link
  4. Question is will the British or US governments be charging them for their living expenses whilst incarcerated as they are with all the other people locked up when innocent . Full story here http://www.sundayherald.com/40592

    Comment by Geoff — 15 Mar 2004 on 10:59 pm | Link
  5. Geoff– probably not. After all, in the case you identify, the victims had the chance to prove their innocence; the living expenses were deducted from the compensation which they quite properly received. The Guantanamo Bay detainees were interned without trial for two years and not even charged with any crime. So far there seems little prospect of them receiving compensation for their treatment.

    Comment by Chris Lightfoot — 16 Mar 2004 on 9:23 am | Link
  6. is david blunket mad?
    we have a prime minister who keeps going on about democracy and a home secretery who spews out draconian rhetoric known only in the worst dictatorships.

    I may leave the country

    Comment by dikkie — 17 Mar 2004 on 12:03 pm | Link

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


March 2004
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Feb   Apr »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh