UK urged to ensure Shaker Aamer’s return

Government asked to step up its efforts
29th December 2010: With the eighth anniversary of Guantánamo Bay detention camp approaching, the UK Government has again been urged to ensure the return of British resident Shaker Aamer and Algerian asylum seeker Ahmed Belbacha to the UK
His supporters and the London Guantánamo Campaign organisers have, in fact, asked the government to step up its efforts in the matter.

The organisers say: `We call on the British government to play its part in the closure of Guantánamo Bay by stepping up its efforts at the highest levels to ensure the return of British resident Shaker Aamer to the UK.

`The UK sought his release in August 2007 along with that of four other men who have since returned. Aamer has a British family, including a seven year old son he has never met. He has never been charged. The UK must also seek the release of Algerian asylum seeker Ahmed Belbacha, who lived in Bournemouth, on humanitarian grounds.

Shaker Aamer, also known as Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, is a Saudi Arabian citizen and the last British resident currently held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba where he is detained since February 2002, despite never being charged with any offence.

Aamer moved to the United Kingdom in 1996. He married a British woman. They have four young children. Aamer is a British resident and was applying for citizenship.

Supporters of Aamer contend the UK should intervene in his detention because he moved to the United Kingdom in 1996, married a British woman, fathered four young children and was in the process of applying for British citizenship.

At the outbreak of the Invasion of Afghanistan, Aamer was working for a Saudi charity in Afghanistan.

Aamer says that interrogators in Afghanistan, who represented themselves as MI5 officers, told him he had two choices: agree to spy on suspected jihadists in the United Kingdom; or remain in US custody.

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