High Profile British Guantanamo Bay Detainee To Be Released (PICTURED)

High Profile British Guantanamo Bay Detainee To Be Released (PICTURED)

By BBC on September 26, 2015
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Shaker Aamer with two of his children, pictured before his imprisonment | PA
Shaker Aamer with two of his children, pictured before his imprisonment | PA


The last British resident being held in Guantanamo Bay is to be returned to the UK, the government has said.

Shaker Aamer, 46, who has been in the military prison in Cuba since 2002, has never been charged or been on trial.

Since 2007 he has been cleared for release twice, by US presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama.

The Saudi national has permission to live in the UK indefinitely because his wife is British. They have four children and live in London.

His daughter Johina, 17, who last saw her father when she was four years old, tweeted: “Thank you everyone for all the support.

“The news hasn’t hit yet. We can’t believe we might finally see our dad after 14 years.”

A British government spokesman said: “The government has regularly raised Mr Aamer’s case with the US authorities and we support President Obama’s commitment to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

“In terms of next steps, we understand that the US government has notified Congress of this decision and once that notice period has been concluded, Mr Aamer will be returned to the UK.”

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tweeted: “Welcome decision by #US Government to return Shaker Aamer to the UK. Long standing priority for HMG to secure his release.”

The BBC understands that the earliest date Mr Aamer could be released to the UK is 25 October.

The US Congress, by law, is allowed a 30-day notification window to review the inmate transfer.

Mr Aamer was detained in Afghanistan in 2001. US authorities allege he had led a unit of Taliban fighters and had met former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

But Mr Aamer has maintained he was in Afghanistan with his family doing charity work.

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