A British resident held at the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has been on hunger strike since Jan 5 and should be freed immediately to avoid insanity or death, his lawyer said in London Wednesday.
Lieutenant Colonel Yvonne Bradley, the US military lawyer representing Binyam Mohamed, told a news conference in London: "Mohamed will leave Guantanamo Bay two ways if people don't act. Either insane, because that is slowly what's happening to him, or in a coffin because his condition is declining."
Mohamed, a 30-year-old Ethiopian who lived in Britain until his arrest in Pakistan in 2002, alleges that he was tortured by American agents before being flown to the controversial military prison in Cuba in September 2004.
Bradley said Mohamed had been force-fed with a tube since Jan 14 and was "nothing but skin and bones" when she visited him a fortnight ago.
Asked how long she believed her client could survive, Bradley said: "I am surprised that he has endured as much as he has up to this point. All I know is my country is detaining someone who they tortured, who they abused, who they continue to mistreat, who has no charges against him."
She spoke at a news conference during a visit to London, where she was due to have talks with Foreign Secretary David Miliband before giving evidence to an all-parliamentary group on the treatment of Guantanamo prisoners.
Later Wednesday, British lawyers for Mohamed were expected to launch a bid at the High Court in London, requesting the publication of US intelligence evidence on Mohamed.
Last week, High Court judges revealed that they had been urged by the US authorities - via the British government - to withhold the sensitive evidence in the interest of security and intelligence cooperation between Britain and the US.