Britain demands Guantanamo releases

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, Aug 7, 2007.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    At least the Foreign Secretary seems to have a pair...

    Britain has requested the release of five British residents that are being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

    David Milliband, the Foreign Secretary, has written to Condoleezza Rice, the American Secretary of State, requesting the US free the men, who are not British nationals but had lived in the UK before they were detained.

  2. If it was up to me i'd let them rot there. The country is ran by a bunch of do-gooders. No wonder we're being overrun with these scum.
  3. Can't understand why we want them. Are we going to put them up?
  4. Granted they may have residence status to work etc, but if they are not British Nationals why aren't their own governments seeking their release?
  5. My thoughts exactly!
  6. .........I assume you are talking about brain cells?
  7. I too, cannot seem to find why it is we want them back. Rattling the cage, for the sake of it?
  8. msr

    msr LE

    Perhaps it is the realisation that indefinite detention without charge is fundamentally wrong and is handing the extremists' recruiting teams a PR gift on a sliver platter?
  9. :)

    Info from the Times Online:

    Shaker Aamer

    He is a Saudi national who is married to a Briton and is the father of four British children. He came to live in the UK in 1996 and worked as an interpreter for a firm of solicitors. He has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002.

    In 2005 his father-in-law called on the British Government to secure his release. Saeed Siddique said Mr Aamer's wife Zinnira had developed mental problems since his imprisonment.

    A letter sent to Jack Straw, the then Foreign Secretary, said there was the "strongest moral obligation" to secure Mr Aamer's release.

    The letter, written by Mr Aamer's UK solicitor Natalia Garcia and US counsel Clive Stafford Smith, said: "There is a British woman who may become a widow, and four young British children who face the prospect of being fatherless, if the government fails to act quickly.

    "He has been held by the US now for three years, and the prospect of this continuing is a terrible weight on his family."

    Mr Aamer is believed to have been captured in January 2002 in Afghanistan, where he was working for a Saudi Arabian charity. He had been living in the UK since 1996, was applying for citizenship and had indefinite leave to stay in Britain at the time of his capture.

    The family were resident in Birmingham at the time of Mr Aamer's capture, but are now believed to live in London.

    Jamil el Banna

    A Jordanian refugee who came to live in London with his wife Sabah in 1994 as political refugees and was granted asylum. They have five children, all born in England.

    In 2002 Mr Banna, a mechanic, was seized by the CIA after MI5 wrongly told the Americans that his travelling companion was carrying bomb parts on a business trip to Gambia.

    He was taken to Bagram airbase in Afghanistan and then to Guantánamo. He alleges ill treatment in both places.

    Omar Deghayes

    He is a Libyan national who was arrested in January 2002 in Pakistan.

    He came to the UK with his mother, sister and brother from Libya in 1986, six years after his father - a prominent figure in Libyan public life who pioneered trade unions - was assassinated by Colonel Muammar Gadaffi’s regime.

    He grew up in Brighton where his mother, Zohra Zewawi, and sister still live. He went to a private school and developed a passion for football.

    Mr Deghayes went on to study law at Wolverhampton University and began his Legal Practice Course at Huddersfield University in 1998, but had yet to complete it when he went to Afghanistan. He was a student member of the Law Society.

    He has held refugee status in the UK since 1987, and the remainder of his family are British citizens.

    A devout Muslim who promoted a peaceful and tolerant Islam, his family say he had given sermons in a mosque condemning terrorism and violence in the name of religion. He also used to visit and help Muslims in local prisons in Sussex on the request of the local police.

    Omar travelled to Afghanistan in 2001 to judge the Taleban regime and the first Islamic society of its kind for himself. He married an Afghan woman there and they have a child, Suleiman.

    When war broke out, Omar moved his family to Pakistan, fearing for their safety. There he was arrested and transferred to Bagram.

    In March 2004 in Guantanamo he was blinded in one eye by soldiers as they put down protests by prisoners who objected to "sexual assaults" - hands being placed up their rectums as part of a search. He was first sprayed with mace and then a finger was plunged into his eye, which had been damaged since childhood.

    Binyam Mohamed

    An Ethiopian held in Guantanamo since September 2004, he came to the UK in 1994 seeking asylum and was granted indefinite leave to remain.

    He converted to Islam after living in the UK for seven years. He travelled to Afghanistan before fleeing to Pakistan.

    Abdulnour Sameur

    Abdulnour Sameur is an Algerian army deserter who came to Britain in 1999 and lived in south Harrow, London.

    He was given leave to remain in the UK, but travelled to Afghanistan because he found it hard to live as a good Muslim in Britain.

    He was arrested in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan while in the company of a group of Arabs and was shot in the leg.

    Mr Sameur admitted having prior knowledge of 9/11, although he later said this confession was forced out of him by his US captors who said they would not treat his leg wound. He said he feared that if he did not confess his leg would have to be amputated.


    Seems like we are only too happy to lets all sorts into this country...
    Personally, whilst it may not be the PC answer, I'd leave them in the hands of the Americans.
  10. So it's a PR stunt by our own, then? We can't stop all illegal detention, why are we making a scene over this one?

    Being an objectivist, and i do apologise.
  11. Er, the extremist recruiters are hardly short on causes. Can't see the fate of these five convincing anyone to make the leap.
  12. Moreover, IIRC, at least some of the 5 detainees have children who are British citizens: if so, the Foreign Secretary is looking after the interests of British nationals by demanding their release.

    Edited to add: crossposted with Mr B, apologies.
  13. I wonder if we're trying to get these 5 back into the UK while leaving the Iraqi interpreters to rot, because these 5 will be safe in the UK while the Iraqis won't?
  14. ............and do you think the target of the recruiters have the slightest inkling of what is fact and what is fiction?

    Freeing all prisoners/detainees, giving an amnesty to all 'terror' groups', handing Israel to the Palestinians, and relinquishing all interest in oil assets would not change the campaign or message one iota. There exists an irreconcilable clash of ideologies, there can only be one winner, and I'd rather that was us, regardless of any 'moral' issues that may arise.
  15. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I presume that, once released, they will return to live here? Have the Security Services here been consulted by Mr Benn on this? I seriously doubt it.

    Oh, and those released in the past haven't always managed to maintain a trouble-free lifestyle:

    Freed Guantanamo inmates take up arms
    July 28, 2007
    At least 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees have been killed or recaptured after taking up arms against allied forces following their release.

    Full story:

    Interesting quote, when taken in relation to the descriptions of 'our' five quoted from the Times, in an earlier post:
    "These former detainees successfully lied to US officials, sometimes for over three years," he said. "Common cover stories include going to Afghanistan to buy medicines, to teach the Koran or to find a wife. Many of these stories appear so often, and are subsequently proven false, that we can only conclude that they are part of their terrorist training."

    At least one of the five was "working for a charity" and another went there and got married. Purely innocent flowers, the lot of them, I'm sure.

    We are at war, and will be for many years. They are enemy combatants, and must be kept in detention. That the USA has the gonads to do this (and that they are paying for it) is a Good Thing. Pandering to terrorist suporters in the UK by demanding their release is a Bad Thing.