News & Politics

Worse Than My Darkest Nightmare: Binyam Mohamed's Statment Upon Being Released From Gitmo

"The very people who I had hoped would come to my rescue, I later realized, had allied themselves with my abusers."

Binyam Mohamed is an Ethiopian national who was detained in Guantanamo Bay prison. He was captured and transported in the frame of the extraordinary rendition program.

I hope you will understand that after everything I have been through, I am neither physically nor mentally capable of facing the media on the moment of my arrival back to Britain. Please forgive me if I make a simple statement through my lawyer. I hope to be able to do better in days to come, when I am on the road to recovery.

I have been through an experience that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares. Before this ordeal, "torture" was an abstract word to me. I could never have imagined that I would be its victim. It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways -- all orchestrated by the United States government.

While I want to recover, and put it all as far in my past as I can, I also know I have an obligation to the people who still remain in those torture chambers. My own despair was greatest when I thought that everyone had abandoned me. I have a duty to make sure that nobody else is forgotten.

I am grateful that, in the end, I was not simply left to my fate. I am grateful to my lawyers and other staff at Reprieve, and to Lt Col Yvonne Bradley, who fought for my freedom. I am grateful to the members of the British Foreign Office who worked for my release. And I want to thank people around Britain who wrote to me in Guantánamo Bay to keep my spirits up, as well as to the members of the media who tried to make sure that the world knew what was going on. I know I would not be home in Britain today, if it were not for everyone's support. Indeed, I might not be alive at all.

Binyam Mohamed is an Ethiopian national who was detained in Guantanamo Bay prison. He was captured and transported in the frame of the U.S. extraordinary rendition program.
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