US to Release 5/9 of UK Detainees

The Daily Telegraph has the story

Five of the nine British prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay are to be released, the Foreign Office has announced.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said they would return to Britain “in the next few weeks”.

Police will consider whether they should face questioning under the Terrorism
Act 2000 when they get back to Britain, Mr Straw said.

He added that discussions were continuing with the US authorities over the other four Britons.

The five suspects to be freed are Rhuhel Ahmed, Tarek Dergoul, Jamal al Harith, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul.

Discussions about the fate of the remaining four British detainess were ongoing, but Mr Straw said they “should be tried in accordance with international standards or returned to the UK”.

Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney-General, declared the Government's opposition
to the military tribunals, saying they “would not provide the type of process we would afford British nationals”.

His judgment followed an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal which said the detainees were being held in a “legal black hole” and described their treatment as “objectionable”.

Rumours have been rife for many months that the detainees could be released
subject to a deal being done with their American captors.

However, a debate has raged on as to how to deal with any Britons released with critics accusing the Government of delaying negotiations because it did
not want the suspects to be tried in Britain because the evidence against them was so flimsy.

Following Mr Straw's announcement, David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, signalled that it was unlikely that the men would face trial in Britain.

He said: “I think you will find that no one who is returned in the announcement today will actually be a threat to the security of the British people.”

So there you have it: 5 out of 9 UK citizens held without charge or access to counsel or to their families for a two-year period are clearly not dangerous, and were held for extra time as hostages in a negotiation over the rights of the other four. Be proud of your country, fellow Americans.

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One Response to US to Release 5/9 of UK Detainees

  1. JoAnn Ferguson says:

    I think this should be for people in America.There are thousands of detainees held right here in the United States,with no charges and still being held,and no threat to society,but some have been in there for months or years with no legal counsel,or court apperances.Thank You! God Bless!

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