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Last British detainee in Guantanamo Bay to be released

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident to be detained in Guantanamo Bay, is to be released back to the UK, the British government confirmed today.

Shaker Aamer is a Saudi national whose family are living in London Credit: Reprieve

His family, who live in Battersea, have spent years campaigning for his release. He has been in the Cuban military prison since 2002 without ever being charged or put on trial - despite being cleared for release twice.

He is originally from Saudi Arabia, but has permission to live in the UK indefinitely as his wife is a British national.

"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."

– UK Government Spokesperson

Senior doctors call for Guantanamo release

A group of senior doctors has called for a London man held in Guantanamo Bay to be released, warning of his "fragile medical condition".

Medics said that Shaker Aamer was suffering from conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder and asthma and his continued detention was having an "appalling effect" on his health and that of his family.

Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to again raise Mr Aamer's case with President Barack Obama during his visit to Washington this week.

Mr Aamer, who is originally from Saudi Arabia but moved to Battersea, London, and has a wife and four children there, has been incarcerated at the controversial US detention centre since 2002.

Shaker Aamer with two of his children, son Michael and daughter Johninh. Credit: Michael Stephens/PA Archive/Press Association Images

In a letter to a national newspaper, the health experts, including consultants and professors, said Mr Aamer had "pressing medical concerns".

The signatories include three members of the Foreign Office pro bono medical panel, which can assist with advice for Britons held overseas but which the doctors said had so far not been allowed to help Mr Aamer.

The letter was organised by David Nicholl, a consultant neurologist, human rights activist and member of the council of the Royal College of Physicians, and is signed by physicians, including professors of neurology and public health, consultants and GPs.

Shaker Aamer has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 Credit: Reprieve


Reprieve: UK Government should take action

The director of the legal charity Reprieve has urged the UK Government to do more to help Shaker Aamer.

"Shaker has a wife and four British kids – one of whom he’s never met – in London. The UK just accepts routine assurances from the US that all is well, when all is rotten in Guantanamo Bay. Does the UK really take the position that there is nothing more that can be done if a close ally is committing the on-going torture of Shaker Aamer?”

– Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve

Londoner in Guantanamo Bay goes on hunger strike

Shaker Aamer has been held in Guantanamo Bay for over eleven years. Credit: US Department of Defense

A South Londoner who is being held in the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay has gone on hunger strike. Shaker Aamer has been held at the base for eleven years but has not been tried or charged.

Mr Aamer has said he has lost over 30 pounds since he joined the strike. Lawyers for the inmates say around three-quarters of them have gone on hunger strike at the camp.

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Comic announces Guantanamo Brit is suing MI5 and MI6

Frankie Boyle has tweeted that Mr Aamer is "just trying to get home". Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Comedian Frankie Boyle has today announced a defamation suit against MI5 and MI6 on behalf of Shaker Aamer, the last remaining British resident held in Guantanamo Bay.

Boyle joined legal action charity Reprieve in London this morning to confirm the launch of the captive's legal action.

Mr Aamer, who was rendered to Guantanamo in 2002, alleges that the intelligence agencies have told lies about him, claiming he holds links with al Qaeda, which prevent his release despite politicians in both the UK and US requesting he be freed.

Ahead of the announcement Boyle tweeted: "Shaker Aamer, with a British family and a kid he's never seen, (is) just trying to get home."

Shaker Aamer's wife and four children live in south London. Credit: Michael Stephens/PA Archive


Guantanamo company working with MoD and Olympics security

Andrew Pringle, president of KBR (UK), said:

What we do so successfully for Ministry of Defence at home and on operations can also support the police service in a way that will improve their ability to keep local communities safe.

KBR already provide support services to the police in the UK. We are, for example, supporting the police during the Olympic Games.

'Principles of impartial British policing' could be at risk

Reacting to the news that a company behind the U.S. detention centre Guantanamo Bay is bidding for a police contract in the UK, Shadow policing minister David Hanson said:

The public don't want to see core policing provided for profit by big companies.

The Government is pushing the police too far into contracting out core public policing and they should rule out private contracts for these roles.

The use of private companies must never be allowed to endanger public confidence in policing.

These partnerships can be very effective and, of course, police forces should pursue efficiencies.

But they mustn't cross the line which would put public trust or the principles of impartial British policing at risk.

– Shadow policing minister, David Hanson

Company distances itself from building of Guantanamo Bay

A spokesman for KBR stressed that there is a new management team in place since the company built the controversial detention centre:

The incidents of the past occurred in 1994 through 2004 when KBR was owned by Halliburton.

Since 2006, KBR has brought in a completely new management team which is committed to best-in-class compliance.

Compliance and integrity are at the very core of everything we do at KBR.

We believe our best-in-class compliance programme, coupled with the unique skills and qualifications of our workforce, will be an extremely strong asset throughout the bid process.

Company behind Guantanamo Bay bidding for Surrey Police scheme

A major US engineering and construction company which helped build the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba, is bidding for a role in the largest police privatisation scheme in the UK.

KBR, a former subsidiary of the controversial Halliburton group, is seeking a role in the £1.5 billion contract from West Midlands and Surrey Police.