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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Profile: 'Forgotten' Cuba detainees
The lawyer acting for several UK residents being held at Guantanamo Bay has said the Americans would send them home now if Britain gave the go-ahead. Who are these people and how did they come to be in Guantanamo ?

Bisher al-Rawi, 38

Businessman Bisher al-Rawi is an Iraqi citizen with UK residency.

The government says Mr al-Rawi is an "exceptional case"

Mr al-Rawi came to England in 1985 after his father was arrested by Saddam Hussein's secret police. He was educated at Millfield, a public school in Somerset, and University College London.

His immediate family are British nationals, but he retained Iraqi citizenship in the hope of returning one day to Iraq and reclaiming the family's assets.

Mr al-Rawi was arrested, along with his Jordanian business partner Jamil al-Banna, at Banjul airport on a business trip to Gambia in November 2002.

The pair said they were in Gambia to set up a factory processing peanut oil.

If the British government were to say tomorrow that it welcomed them back to their families then the US government would send them straight back
Clive Stafford Smith

The authorities claimed they were planning to set up a terrorist training camp and were going to funnel profits from the peanut oil plant to fund al-Qaeda.

Their lawyer Rabinder Singh has said these arrests were "far from any theatre of war". The pair were moved to Guantanamo Bay early in 2003.

He has been interrogated about his links to the controversial cleric Abu Qatada. But the British government apparently now accepts that he was helping MI5 to keep watch on Abu Qatada.

Jamil el-Banna, 44

Jamil el-Banna, a mechanic, is a Jordanian with refugee status in the UK.

He has also been detained in Cuba since early 2003 following capture in Gambia in November 2002.

The father-of-five has never seen his youngest daughter who was born in April 2003.

Jamil El-Banna
Mr el-Banna was arrested in the Gambia

Amnesty argues that the UK is obliged under international refugee law to make representations on his behalf.

Mr el-Banna's case has been taken up by the Brent East MP, Sarah Teather.

He has also been questioned about his links to Abu Qatada, but he insists he only met him once in Britain.

Omar Deghayes, 36

Libyan-born Omar Deghayes was granted refugee status with his family in the 1980s.

He grew up in Brighton, was privately educated and studied law at British universities. Amnesty International said he wanted to be a human rights lawyer.

Omar Deghayes
More than 500 people in Brighton signed a petition for Omar Deghayes

But he dropped out of university and travelled to Afghanistan, where he married and fathered a son.

He had applied for British citizenship but missed an interview because he was abroad.

Mr Deghayes was arrested in Pakistan shortly after the fall of the Taleban and was transferred to Cuba.

He is accused of committing terrorist acts against the United States, but his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith says it is a case of mistaken identity.

A Chechen terrorist training video purports to show him but Mr Stafford Smith said the man in question was actually Abu Walid, a Saudi who is now dead.

His lawyers claim he has been rendered virtually blind by the use of pepper spray and the gouging of his eye during his detention, but is still constantly subjected to high light levels.

Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, 39

Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, originally from Saudi Arabia, had been living in the UK since 1996.

He is reported to have travelled to Afghanistan in August 2001 to carry out voluntary charity work.

Shaker Aamer with two of his children
Cuba detainee Shaker Aamer with his daughter Johina and son Michel
According to Amnesty, his wife heard from newspaper reporters in January 2002 that he had been captured.

His first letter from Guantanamo Bay was dated 16 February 2002.

He had been applying for citizenship and had indefinite leave to stay in the UK when he was captured.

He lived in London with his wife and three children, all British citizens, and worked as an interpreter for a firm of solicitors.

A fourth child has been born since his capture. He has never seen her.

Binyam Mohammed al Habashi, 28

Binyam Mohammed al Habashi was born in Ethiopia but sought asylum in the UK in 1994 and was given leave to remain.

After seven years in the UK he converted to Islam. He travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan and allegedly got firearms and explosives training alongside shoe bomber Richard Reid.

Binyam Mohammad
Binyam Mohammed claims to have been horribly tortured

The US authorities claimed he planned to travel to the US, rent several flats in an apartment block and then blow it up with a timing device.

He was arrested by Pakistani immigration officials at Karachi airport in April 2002 when intending to return to the UK.

He was taken to Morocco and says he was tortured for 18 months. He claimed he was beaten and scalded and had his penis slashed with a scalpel.

He was then sent to Guantanamo.

Last summer he was among Guantanamo detainees to go on hunger strike to protest against the conditions and their lack of access to a judicial review.

Ahmed Errachidi, 40

Ahmed Errachidi is a Moroccan who came to Britain in 1985 and was later given indefinite leave to remain. His wife and two sons live in London.

He worked as a chef in a number of well-known restaurants, including the Hard Rock Cafe.

He travelled to Afghanistan via Pakistan and the US authorities claimed he attended a terrorist training camp.

Mr Errachidi
Mr Errachidi worked as a chef in London

But his family have wageslips showing that he was cooking at a restaurant in Muswell Hill, north London, at the time he was supposedly in the camp.

He was captured in Pakistan and eventually taken to Guantanamo. It is thought he may be one of several Guantanamo detainees who were "sold" to the US for $5,000 each.

Ahmed Belbacha, 36

Ahmed Belbacha is a former footballer from Algeria who came to Britain in 1999 as an economic migrant.

Ahmed Belbacha is a former professional footballer

He found work as a laundry worker and waiter in Bournemouth and was reportedly vetted to work at the Labour party conference.

He was denied asylum in 2003 but was given exceptional leave to remain in the UK.

By then however he was already in Guantanamo, having been detained in Pakistan.

Lawyers from the British charity Reprieve have still not been given permission to visit Mr Belbacha.

Abdulnour Sameur, 33

Abdulnour Sameur is an Algerian army deserter who came to Britain in 1999.

He lived in south Harrow, London. He was given leave to remain in the UK but travelled to Afghanistan because he found it hard to live as a good Muslim in Britain.

He was arrested in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan while in the company of a group of Arabs. He was shot in the leg.

Mr Sameur admitted having prior knowledge of 9/11 although he later said this confession was forced out of him by his US captors who said they would not treat his leg wound. He said he feared that if he did not confess his leg would have to be amputated.

His lawyers have also been refused permission to see him.

Mohammad al-Qadir

Originally from Algeria. Little is known about him and lawyers from Reprieve have been refused access to him.

Saiid Farhi

Originally from Algeria. Little is known about him and lawyers from Reprieve have been refused access to him.

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