Shaker Aamer thanks supporters after Guantanamo Bay release


Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held at Guantanamo Bay, has paid an emotional tribute to those who fought for his release after he finally returned to the UK, saying: "Without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now."

The 46-year-old arrived on a private plane at Biggin Hill airport in south-east London after 13 years in detention at the US military facility in Cuba.

In a statement issued tonight, Mr Aamer said: "The reason I have been strong is because of the support of people so strongly devoted to the truth.

"If I was the fire to be lit to tell the truth, it was the people who protected the fire from the wind.

"My thanks go to Allah first, second to my wife, my family, to my kids and then to my lawyers who did everything they could to carry the word to the world. I feel obliged to every individual who fought for justice not just for me but to bring an end to Guantanamo.

"Without knowing of their fight I might have given up more than once; I am overwhelmed by what people have done by their actions, their thoughts and their prayers and without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now.

"The reality may be that we cannot establish peace but we can establish justice. If there is anything that will bring this world to peace it is to remove injustice."

Mr Aamer's British lawyers Irene Nembhard and Gareth Pierce said he is an "extraordinary man who determined for 14 years that he would return to Britain".

They said: "He achieved this by unimaginable, heroic, sustained courage, the strength of his character and of his faith being for years his only resource. He by the grace of God is now home and this is a new beginning."