By Peter Lazenby in Britain:
Shaker Aamer could be weeks from freedom
Thursday 28th May 2015
Last Briton in Guantanamo gets scent of home
THE last British prisoner in the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison camp could be released within weeks, it was revealed yesterday.
His release was authorised by US authorities seven years ago, but he has remained in Guantanamo.
A cross-party delegation of MPs including Jeremy Corbyn and David Davis travelled to Washington on Monday to lobby President Barack Obama to finally release him.
However, a Reprieve spokeswoman told the Star that Mr Stafford Smith “did caveat what he said quite heavily — there have been positive noises and we are optimistic, but there’s no confirmation or timeline or anything like that.”
Mr Obama pledged to close the camp, which still holds 57 prisoners, in his 2008 presidential campaign.
Mr Aamer has never been charged with any offence or stood trial. He has suffered ill health through his detention and treatment at the hands of his US military captors, and has never met his last-born child.
When he was arrested in 2001, US authorities alleged he had led a unit of Taliban fighters and met former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
But Mr Aamer has maintained throughout his imprisonment that he was in Afghanistan with his family doing charity work.
Mr Stafford Smith praised campaigners around the world, and particularly in Britain, for their actions demanding the release of Mr Aamer.
Earlier this month, as reported in the Morning Star, one volunteer spent 14 hours locked in a cage in Trafalgar Square — one hour for each year of Mr Aamer’s incarceration.
Mr Stafford Smith said: “So many people have done so many great things to help him and I think that’s had a great impact.”