Human rights groups and opposition politicians demanded the immediate release of secret documents about the alleged torture of a British resident detained at Guantánamo Bay after the announcement of a deal securing his transfer.
Binyam Mohamed, who has been held in the prison camp for more than four years without charge, would be flown back to the UK “as soon as the practical arrangements can be made”, said David Milliband, the foreign secretary, on Friday.
The long-awaited agreement, which could see Mr Mohamed returned to Britain as early as Monday, is unlikely to quell the political storm his case has generated.
William Hague, shadow foreign secretary, on Friday night renewed his call for the publication of a section of a high court judgment about Mr Mohamed’s alleged torture which has so far been kept confidential.
He said: “Now that the US government has decided to release Binyam Mohamed, there is no reason for the government not to ask the US to allow the controversial paragraphs related to his case to be published.”
Mr Mohamed, who was born in Ethiopia but lived in the UK before his arrest in Pakistan in 2002, has been detained in Guantánamo since September 2004.
He went on a hunger strike for more than a month at the start of this year and was described by his legal team as close to starvation, although fit enough to travel.
His transfer to the UK did not mean he would remain here permanently, the foreign secretary said.
“His immigration status will be reviewed following his return and the same security considerations will apply to him as would apply to any other foreign national in this country,” Mr Milliband said.
“As always, all appropriate steps will be taken to protect national security.”
Amnesty International welcomed the agreement, calling on the government to press for the release of other Guantánamo Bay detainees with links to the UK.
Kate Allen, the human rights group’s UK director, said while the “immediate focus’’ should be on providing medical and other support to Mr Mohamed, they would continue to press for an independent inquiry into his claims of a “cover-up over torture, as well as into the wider practice of rendition and secret detention’’.
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