LONDON (AFP) – Former British resident Binyam Mohamed, who is set to be released from Guantanamo Bay this week, will be granted temporary admission into the country, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said Sunday.
Smith said that Mohamed’s immigration status would then be considered in detail by officials. He was born in Ethiopia but has refugee status in Britain.
Britain and the US last week agreed on the transfer of Mohamed, who staged a 13-day hunger strike earlier this month, as the Washington Post newspaper reported that he could be flown back to Britain as early as Monday.
“When he comes back he will be granted temporary admission into the country, his immigration status will be considered,” Smith told BBC television.
She added that a final judgement on his immigration status would be made based on “the facts at the time” and said he would be treated fairly.
Mohamed’s release will be the first under US President Barack Obama, who ordered the closure of the notorious detention camp two days after taking office.
Britain’s Foreign Office has stressed that Mohamed will not necessarily be allowed to remain here for good.
“Mr Mohamed’s return does not constitute a commitment… that he may remain permanently in the UK,” it said in a statement Friday.
“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.”
Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 before being taken to Morocco and Afghanistan before Guantanamo.
Although he was suspected of having attended an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and of having plotted to build a radioactive “dirty bomb”, he was never charged.