Almost 14 years after he was first detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, was released from the prison today and repatriated back to his home in England. In a statement issued by a spokesperson for British Prime Minister David Cameron, the government indicated that it had no plans to detain him upon his release, and that “he is free to be reunited with his family.”
Aamer’s release today concludes a long legal ordeal that had raised the ire of human rights groups around the world. Despite spending nearly a decade and a half in U.S. custody, Aamer was never charged with any crime, and was cleared for release from the prison on separate occasions in both 2007 and 2009. In a statement issued today through the prisoner advocacy organization CAGE, Moazzam Begg, another former British detainee at Guantanamo and a longtime friend of Aamer, said, “The day has finally arrived…[Aamer’s] family, friends, lawyers, campaigners and well-wishers have fought a battle to free an innocent man and finally, that battle has been won.”
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