Skip to main content

Guantanamo Bay: Detainees

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to seek the return to the UK of British residents detained in Guantanamo Bay. (249524)

[holding answer 20 January 2009]: By December 2007 the Government had secured the return from Guantanamo Bay of four individuals previously lawfully resident in the UK. The UK has, since August 2007, sought the release and return of two further former residents, Mr. Shaker Aamer and Mr. Binyam Mohamed, who remain in detention at the facility.

We remain in ongoing discussions with the US regarding Mr. Mohamed’s case and continue to press for his release and return at all levels. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has raised the case with former Secretary of State Rice, as has our Ambassador in Washington with senior members of the US Administration. Senior UK officials across Government have also raised with their counterparts in State Department, Department of Defence and NSC.

The US has not agreed to release and return Mr. Aamer to the UK in light of security concerns expressed in relation to his case. We maintain dialogue with them regarding Mr. Aamer’s welfare but are no longer in active negotiations for his return to the UK. Our request for his release and return remains open should the US position change.