Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 25 January 2005

Final four British Guantanamo detainees land near London

I am just watching on BBC News24 as the RAF aircraft carrying the four British detainees, who were the last British citizens to be held by the Americans at its Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba, lands at RAF Northolt.

I have written many times about the status of the detainees held at Guantanamo and my view that all those held there should either be charged with crimes, or released. Thankfully in the case of these last four British citizens this part of their ordeal is now over, although as it seems that at least two of the four were held in solitary confinement for upto 18 months it is not clear what is their mental state. It seems clear that they will be held for questionning by the authorities here, but if the experience of the previous five who were returned back to the UK in March 2004 is a guide, they may be released quite rapidly. I was listening earlier this afternoon to John O'Connor, a former Commissioner at Scotland Yard, and he gave the impression that it would be almost impossible for the men not be released quite rapidly, unless there are genuine charges which can be laid against them. I watch with interest ...

UPDATE: (Wednesday 26JAN05 22.23 GMT) So dangerous were these four that although they had to be locked up at Guantanamo for upto three years, all four have this evening been released from custody without charge. One presumes any 'evidence' against them cannot have been particularly compelling. However, as we all now live in what will probably soon become one giant police control zone, I suppose it does not matter much.

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