Protesters urge return of Briton in Guantanamo

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About 70 protesters gathered in London Saturday to urge the release of the last Briton held at the US-run detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

They met at the proposed site of the new US embassy in Battersea, southwest London, to demand the release of Shaker Aamer, 43, who has been held at the camp since February 2002.

Some held up signs saying "Save Shaker Aamer" and "Close Guantanamo", while one protester donned the orange jumpsuit and chains worn by camp detainees.

Ray Silk of the campaign to free him said: "We want to publicise the terrible plight of Shaker Aamer. He has been incarcerated for nearly nine years in Guantanamo Bay. He has not been charged with anything or brought to trial."

Aamer was born in Saudi Arabia but is a British resident, and is married to a British national who lives with their four children in London.

He was detained in Afghanistan by Afghan forces in late 2001 and claims he was tortured while in US custody.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague recently said he had asked the United States to return Aamer to Britain, but gave no indication of when this might happen.

© 2010 AFP

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