London, Oct 30 (IANS) The last British prisoner in Guantanamo Bay has been released, having been detained there for 13 years, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Friday.
Hammond said Shaker Aamer, 46, had left the US military base and will arrive “later today (Friday)”, BBC reported.
The Saudi national was held in the military prison in Cuba since 2002 but has never been charged or put on trial.
He was detained in Afghanistan in 2001. US authorities alleged he had led a unit of Taliban fighters and had met slain Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
But, Aamer has denied the allegation and maintained that he was in Afghanistan with his family doing charity work.
Since 2007 Aamer, who claims he was tortured, has been cleared for release twice, by US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Aamer, who has four children, has permission to live indefinitely in Britain because his wife is British.
Andy Worthington, co-director of the “We Stand With Shaker” campaign, said he was “delighted Aamer’s “long and unacceptable ordeal has come to an end.”
“We hope he won’t be detained by the British authorities on his return and gets the psychological and medical care that he needs to be able to resume his life with his family in London,” he said.
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted his release was “great news” and “huge congratulations to his family”.
Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg tweeted his “heartfelt thanks to everyone who fought for him”.
His imminent release was confirmed by the British government last month, when his daughter, Johina, 17, tweeted: “We can’t believe we might finally see our dad after 14 years.”