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Guantanamo Bay

Volume 712: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the status of the two former British residents held at Guantanamo Bay; how long they have been held; and what action they will take to secure their release. [HL4343]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead)

The Government's decision to seek the release and return of former residents was limited to those who were lawfully resident in the UK prior to their detention. Following the safe return of five former legal residents to the UK, only one individual with this status, Shaker Aamer, is at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held since February 2002. We requested his release and return to the UK in August 2007. The US has so far declined our request, owing to security concerns. We continue to make clear that our request stands for his release and return. We maintain an ongoing dialogue with the US regarding Mr Aamer's welfare, and are in frequent contact with his family and legal representatives.