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Former Guantanamo detainees released from UK custody

[JURIST] Three former UK residents held at Guantanamo Bay who were released [press release] from US custody Wednesday and then detained by UK authorities [JURIST report] the same day on their arrival home were released from UK custody Thursday. Libyan Omar Deghayes and Algerian Abdennour Sameur were arrested and Jordanian Jamil el Banna was detained under the Terrorism Act [text]. Deghayes and el Banna may yet face extradition to Spain, although the British government has said that it will review the released men's immigration statuses to determine whether they may remain in the country. El-Banna and Deghayes were freed on bail pending their hearings, but Sameur was released without charge. Two other UK residents [JURIST report] still remain at Guantanamo: Saudi Arabian Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, who is expected to return to his native country, and Ethiopian Binyam Mohammed al Habashi, who will stay in US custody. AP has more. The Guardian has additional coverage.

In August, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office [official website] asked the United States to release the five [press release; JURIST report], who were legal residents in the UK prior to their detention at Guantanamo. British officials under the government of former Prime Minister Tony Blair had initially refused to seek the release of the British resident aliens held at Guantanamo Bay, and el Banna and Deghayes were among a group of detainees who lost a court bid [JURIST report] to force the UK government to lobby the US for their release. All UK nationals detained at Guantanamo were returned to the UK by January 2005.

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