4:48 Psychosis – The Tribulations of Binyam Mohamed


Caught at the airport trying to pass off a fake passport as the genuine article? The minimum prison sentence is supposedly six months, the most you can get for this fraudulent act is ten years in prison.

Even in Pakistan they may simply deport you after you have served somewhere between say, eighteen months for your first offence.

Binyam would have expected little more than that at best and deportation back to his Ethiopian homeland at the worst.

Instead he was kidnapped by the C.I.A as an alleged terrorist, detained at ‘The Salt Pit’ prison located in Bagram, Afghanistan and tortured.


Binyam stated that

“It was pitch black no lights on in the rooms for most of the time…They hung me up.
I was allowed a few hours of sleep on the second day, then hung up again, this time for two days.
My leg had swollen. My wrists and hands had gone numb… There was loud music, [Eminem’s] ‘Slim Shady’ and Dr Dre for 20 days….[Then] they changed the sounds to horrible ghost laughter and Halloween sounds.
[At one point, I was] chained to the rails for a fortnight….The CIA worked on people,including me, day and night…Plenty lost their minds.
I could hear people knocking their heads against the walls and the doors, screaming their heads off.”

Unlike the ‘others’ he described, Binyam was still very sane, maybe this was due to his experiences as an Ethiopian Asylum Seeker, and the hardships he would have had to adapt to and even survive living in England.


In 2004 he was transferred to the Guantanamo Detention Camp and made subject to a ‘Combatant Status Review Panel Tribunal’ where, it was submitted that he had admitted training at the AL-Qaeda terrorist training camp AL Farouq.

In 2005 Binyam was placed in Camp V, a super maximum facility where uncooperative detainees are held. There he was told that he would be required to testify against other detainees.

In November of 2005 Binyam was charged with ‘conspiracy to committ an act of terrorism’ but help was on the way (finally).


The Supreme Court produced a ruling which effectively stated that the U.S President lacked the authority to create military commissions outside the regular judiciary system, and that these military commissions were unconstitutional, as a result Binyam Mohammed’s trial was halted.

Attempts to put him on trial before a military commission were resumed in late 2008 after ‘restructured’ military commissions were introduced. However, the charges against him were eventually dropped and he was returned to Britain on 23 February 2009.


In 2010 despite the opposition of the then Labour Government, the Court of Appeal ordered the government to release evidence of MI5 & MI6 complicity in the torture of Binyam Mohammed, overruling the wishes of the Foreign Secretary, David Milliband.


To conclude, Binyam received £1 million pounds in compensation, in settlement, from the British Government. Binyam Mohammed was one of the few ex-detainees to be awarded compensation, he was also one of the few ex-detainees of the ‘dark prison’ who lived to tell about it.


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