Guantánamo Bay: Release of British citizens welcome but long, long overdue
Kate Allen, UK Director of Amnesty International said:
â€œHaving campaigned long and hard over GuantÃ¡namo, we are delighted that the misery of these four men and the anguish of their families at last appears to be coming to an end. In the absence of proper charges and trials, the release of Britons held at GuantÃ¡namo Bay is long, long overdue.
â€œIf anyone previously held at Guantanamo has anything to answer for in the UK, then they should of course be properly charged and duly tried in court."
Amnesty International remains concerned about the plight of the remaining detainees at GuantÃ¡namo Bay. Yesterday marked the third anniversary of the first detentions by the US authorities at GuantÃ¡namo, which Amnesty International has described as an â€œicon of lawlessnessâ€.
Kate Allen added:
â€œWhile we welcome the release of these four British citizens, two British residents, Bisha Al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna, who were arrested in Gambia and then transferred to GuantÃ¡namo, are still held there and we call upon the UK Government to fight for their release.
â€œIn addition, more than 500 other detainees from around 40 countries remain in legal limbo. Peopleâ€™s human rights should not hang on whether or not they are from a country friendly to the USA.â€
Amnesty International also continues to urge governments around the world to urgently make representations on behalf of all those held at GuantÃ¡namo Bay. The organisation calls for all detainees to be afforded their full rights and either be released or charged with a recognisably criminal offence and tried in court proceedings that fully meet international fair trial standards.
There have been repeated allegations of abuse of detainees at GuantÃ¡namo, most recently made by the FBI.
Kate Allen added: â€œThere will now be an opportunity to speak to the UK citizens whose release was announced today and to ensure that all allegations of torture and ill-treatment at GuantÃ¡namo are fully investigated."