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UK's Shaker Aamer Released from Guantanamo

  • VOA News

FILE - Human rights activists hold a banner with a picture of Shaker Aamer. The last British resident of the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has been released.

FILE - Human rights activists hold a banner with a picture of Shaker Aamer. The last British resident of the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has been released.

The last British resident of the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has been released.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Friday that Shaker Aamer, a Saudi national, has been released and would arrive in Britain later in the day.

Aamer has been in the U.S. military prison in Cuba since 2002, but has never been charged or been on trial.

113 Detainees Remain at Guantanamo Bay as of October 29, 2015

113 Detainees Remain at Guantanamo Bay as of October 29, 2015

Britain's Andy Worthington, the co-director of the We Stand with Shaker campaign said Friday "We're delighted to hear that his long and unacceptable ordeal has come to an end."

Aamer was detained in Afghanistan in 2001. U.S. authorities allege he had led a unit of Taliban fighters and had met former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. But Aamer has maintained he was in Afghanistan with his family doing charity work.

He was cleared for release from Guantanamo in 2007, but remained in custody.

Aamer's lawyers say their client was subjected to torture at Guantanamo.

The U.S. announced in September that Aamer would be released.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, members of Parliament and various British celebrities, like musicians Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel and Sting, have repeatedly urged U.S. President Barack Obama to transfer Aamer.

Aamer's wife and four children live in Britain.

President Obama has struggled to honor a six-year-old pledge to close Guantanamo before leaving the White House in early 2017.

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