AFTER 14 years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, Shaker Aamer has been released and is returning to the UK on Friday October 31.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said, “The Americans announced some weeks ago that they were going to release Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo and I can confirm that he is on his way back to the UK now and he will arrive in Britain later today.”
Aamer was detained in 2001 in Afghanistan after the US alleged he had been the leader of a Taliban fighting group and had contact with Osama Bin Laden. He has never been tried and has been previously cleared for release on two separate occasions by Presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama.
Aamer maintains his innocence saying that he was doing charity work in Afghanistan and claims he was beaten in the military prison.
It is not clear what Aamer´s destination will be when he lands, but as Prime Minister David Cameron was among those campaigning for his release it is not thought that he will transferred to a British jail cell.
Andy Worthington, co-director of the We Stand With Shaker campaign, spoke about the situation,
“We’re delighted to hear that his long and unacceptable ordeal has come to an end. We hope he won’t be detained by the British authorities on his return and gets the psychological and medical care that he needs to be able to resume his life with his family in London.”