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UK Guantanamo detainee to be returned soon: Foreign Office

[JURIST] The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [official website] said Friday that the US has agreed to return [press release] UK resident and Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Binyam Mohamed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to the country as soon as his transfer can be arranged. Mohamed was found by British authorities on Sunday to be healthy enough to return [JURIST report] to the UK after stopping his hunger strike, and the FCO said that his return comes after a long-standing request by the UK that its residents held at Guantanamo be returned to the country. It also said that his return did not indicate that he would be permitted to stay permanently in the country, but that it was an intermediate step to help the US close the military prison. The FCO said that his immigration status would be reviewed following his return to the UK.

Mohamed was arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2004 on suspicion of war crimes in connection with his alleged involvement with al Qaeda attacks on the US. The charges against him were dismissed [JURIST report] last October. Mohamed asserts that after he was arrested in Pakistan and turned over to US officials, he was then transferred to Moroccan agents who tortured him. In December, he asked the UK government [letter, DOC; JURIST report] to ensure that photographic evidence of his alleged torture be preserved.

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