Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held in Guantanamo Bay, has been released. Aamer has been detained for 13 years.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that Aamer had left the U.S. military base, and was supposed to reach the United Kingdom Friday. A flight took Aamer from Guantanamo Bay at 11.30 p.m. local time and headed for London’s Biggin Hill Airport.
“The Americans announced some weeks ago that they were going to release Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo and I can confirm that he is on his way back to the UK now and he will arrive in Britain later today,” The Guardian quoted Hammond as saying.
Aamer was detained in Afghanistan in 2011 after having allegedly led a Taliban unit. He was also accused of meeting former al Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
— Amnesty UK (@AmnestyUK) October 30, 2015
The 48-year-old Saudi national has never been put on trial or charged since he was put in the military prison in Cuba in 2002. He has already maintained his stance that he was in the Middle Eastern country for doing charity work.
Aamer claimed to have been tortured at the military facility. U.S. Presidents George W Bush cleared his name for release and, so did Barack Obama. Aamer is married to a British and allowed to stay indefinitely in the country.
There has been a “We Stand With Shaker” campaign for the release of the Saudi man. Co-director Andy Worthington said Aamer’s "long and unacceptable ordeal” came 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," the BBC quoted him as saying.