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UK/USA: Tony Blair must raise Guantánamo concerns during Washington visit

Our spokesperson continued:

“He should use this meeting with George Bush to highight the cases of people held at Guantánamo Bay – whether they are British nationals or not.

“It is two years this week since Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna, two British residents, were arrested in Gambia and then transferred to Guantánamo. The UK government is refusing to act on their behalf despite their longstanding links to Britain. They have been ignored.

“Mr Blair has a responsibility to raise these cases, and to call on President Bush to bring the legal black hole of Guantánamo Bay to an end.”


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently (Wednesday 10 November 2004) published the UK government’s annual report on human rights.

The section on Guantánamo Bay (pp.18) refers to the UK’s concern for British nationals detained at Guantánamo Bay and calls for their return to the UK, citing concerns that there are insufficient guarantees of a trial that meets international standards.

However, the report fails to raise the cases of Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna, or indeed other non-Britons detained at Guantánamo Bay.

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