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Former Guantanamo detainee arrested

A Qatari man held at Guantanamo Bay until last year was detained at London's Heathrow Airport on Tuesday on his way to visit a human rights lawyer in the British capital.

world Updated: Feb 25, 2009 10:06 IST

A Qatari man held at Guantanamo Bay until last year was detained at London's Heathrow Airport on Tuesday on his way to visit a human rights lawyer in the British capital.

Jaralla Saleh Mohammed Kahla al-Marri said he arrived in Britain from Qatar on Sunday to visit lawyer Gareth Pierce but was questioned by British immigration officials because he did not include details of his time at Guantanamo Bay on his visa application.

A spokesman for Britain's Home Office said he was unable to comment on individual cases.

"They kept me for an hour then said they were going to move me," al-Marri, who is currently being held at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre near the airport.

"They said I was going back to my own country. They said they don't want anyone from Guantanamo here."

Al-Marri, who was held in Guantanamo Bay for more than six years before returning to Qatar in July, added: "I said I was here in January and it was fine and if they don't want me here why did they give me a visa?"

"There was no question on the visa about are you a Guantanamo detainee?"

Pierce has in the past represented, among others, the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian man shot dead by British police in a London Underground station when they mistook him for an on-the-run suicide bomber.

Al-Marri's ordeal comes a day after Binyam Mohamed, a 30-year-old Ethiopia-born detainee at Guantanamo, arrived in Britain, where he held residency before his detention at the prison camp.