US to release Guantanamo Briton

The US has agreed to return to Britain a long-time British resident held for more than four years at Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, the British government has said.

US to release Guantanamo Briton

Thedecision to release Iraqi citizen Bisher al-Rawi came after a call in Januaryby Edward Davey, his local member of parliament, for the British prime ministerTony Blair to intervene with George Bush, the US president, to secure hisrelease.

MargaretBeckett, the UK foreign secretary, said the British and US governments had beendiscussing al-Rawi's case since Britain first asked for his release last year.

"Wehave now agreed with the US authorities that Mr al-Rawi will be returned to theUK shortly, as soon as the practical arrangements have been made," shesaid in a written statement to parliament on Thursday.

"Thisdecision follows extensive discussions to address the security implications ofMr al-Rawi's return. The UK will continue to take the necessary measures tomaintain national and international security."

Asked ifal-Rawi would be coming back from Guantanamo a free man, a foreign officespokesman said: "It's an operational issue. We can't comment on individualcases."

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Al-Rawiand his business partner, Jamil el-Banna, a Jordanian, were arrested by Gambianauthorities when they flew to the African country in late 2002, Davey, anopposition Liberal Democrat, told Britain's parliament in January.

They werehanded over to the US Central Intelligence Agency and taken to Afghanistanbefore being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, he said.

Daveyaccused Britain's MI5 intelligence service of being complicit in their arrest -a charge Britain denies.

 

Al-Rawi'slawyers believed his mental health was deteriorating fast after four years inthe US detention camp, Davey said.

He saidal-Rawi knew Abu Qatada, the London-based Islamic cleric whom Britain wants todeport to Jordan, where he has been convicted in absentia of involvement interrorist plots.

Britainhas secured the release of all nine of its citizens held at Guantanamo Bay butargues it is not obliged to seek the release of several other detainees whomerely lived in Britain.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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