Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat MP who has campaigned for her constituent Jamil el-Banna to be released from Guantanamo Bay, today welcomed the news that he is among five people the Government has requested be released from the camp.
Commenting, Sarah Teather, who is also Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Guantanamo Bay, said:
“This is fantastic news and a tremendous relief for Jamil’s family here in London. Jamil’s youngest daughter will be meeting her dad for the first time. They have shown incredible bravery, strength and determination.
“This decision should have been taken years ago. Abandoning British residents to indefinite imprisonment in obscene conditions was a gross dereliction of duty by the Government.
“Guantanamo Bay is an insult to democracy and a violation of the principles the war on terror purports to defend. Many questions remain over the Government’s complicity in the abduction and imprisonment of Jamil.
“But today is a time for celebration that, for these British residents and their families, the horror of Guantanamo is now almost over.”
Liberal Democrat Leader Menzies Campbell added:
“This is a belated recognition of our moral responsibility towards these men.
“Up to now the Government’s attitude has been supine in the face of systematic violation of all known legal principles.
“It has been left to opposition MPs to make the case for their return to the UK.”