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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.