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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 January 2005, 16:34 GMT
UK's 'forgotten' Cuba detainees
Guard at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay
At least five UK residents are believed to remain in Camp Delta
As four Britons are released from Guantanamo Bay, campaigners say Britain should be doing more for the "forgotten" UK residents still inside.

At least five men who have lived in Britain for years are thought still to be held in the detention camp in Cuba.

But because Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil al-Banna, Jamal Abdullah, Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer and Omar Deghayes did not take British citizenship, the government is not pursuing their cases.

Human rights groups say even without a "consular responsibility" to make representations on their behalf, Britain has a moral responsibility to them.

Amnesty International says there could be more UK residents in Guantanamo - human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith believes there are at least seven.

'Confusing situation'

"It's a bit of a confusing situation. We are still trying to ascertain exactly how many there are and what their status is," said an Amnesty spokesman.

"In at least one of the cases, we think the UK government might have responsibility under refugee laws."

"If the UK isn't going to make representations on their behalf, who is?"

Businessman Mr al-Rawi, in his late 30s, is an Iraqi citizen with UK residency. He was reportedly sent to England in 1985 after his father was arrested by Saddam Hussein's secret police.

Amnesty says he and his friend Mr al-Banna, a Jordanian refugee who had been living in north-west London, were arrested at Banjul airport on a business trip to Gambia in November 2002 on suspicion of links to terrorism.

I know that is frustrating... but that is the situation
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Mr al-Banna, a father of five, has not seen his youngest daughter who was born in April 2003.

His case has been taken up by his local MP, Sarah Teather.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told her he could not act on behalf of those who were not British citizens no matter how long they had lived in the UK and the US would not accept any representations made on their behalf.

"I know that is frustrating. I have seen families with a number of people in this position but that is the situation," he said.

'Moral and legal obligation'

But Ms Teather said the government's way of thinking was that "we have had enough trouble trying to get the British citizens back without even trying with those who are British residents".

Among the other UK residents is Ugandan Jamal Abdullah, 24, who arrived in the UK in 1993 to help his mother, a UK citizen, after his father died. Amnesty says there is little information about where and why he was arrested.

Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, 38, is from Saudi Arabia but has a British wife and four children in the UK, where he has lived since 1996. Amnesty says he was doing voluntary work in Afghanistan when he was arrested and transferred to Cuba in January 2002.

We have the power to intervene and intervene powerfully
Clive Stafford Smith, human rights lawyer

His wife last received a letter from him in Guantanamo Bay in June 2003. She has given birth to their fourth child while he has been in detention.

According to the Times Omar Deghayes, 35, is a law graduate whose family fled Libya in 1986. He was allegedly captured in Pakistan before being transferred to Cuba.

Clive Stafford Smith said the UK had a "moral and a legal obligation" to help those residents who are still being detained.

"We have the power to intervene and intervene powerfully no matter where we want to go," he said.

"It is a red herring to say we don't have consular rights, which may be true, because we have a lot of other obligations."

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