First they were released by the US and now British authorities have released five Britons, formerly detained in Guantanamo Bay, amid calls for litigation over their imprisonment in the first place.

Jamal al-Harith, 37, from Manchester, was released shortly after the five men arrived back in Britain on Tuesday evening and is currently being reunited with his family at a secret location.

Tarek Dergoul, from East London, Ruhal Ahmed, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul, all from Tipton in the West Midlands, were released last night after being questioned by anti-terrorist police at Paddington Green police station in central London. All are understood to be at secret locations.

Steven Watt, a British lawyer with the US-based Centre for Constitutional Rights who represents Mr Rasul and Mr Iqbal, said today: “I think they are owed something by the US Government, but whether they will ever be able to get it is another thing.

“George Bush called them ‘bad guys’… clearly by what’s happened here they are not bad guys, they are entirely innocent. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

In the US, Bob Edgar, general secretary of US National Council of Churches, said: “Now that they are out, under law, they ought to pursue whatever legal remedies are due them, both in the international and domestic law setting.”

Meanwhile, attention was also turning to the plight of the four Britons that are still incarcerated at Camp Delta.

Louise Christian, a lawyer for Mr Dergoul, said that she was “absolutely delighted” at his release, but voiced concern for the detainees still held at Guantanamo Bay.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “What I am now thinking of is the other four people who have been left behind, and their families.

The US Supreme Court is due hear arguments next month from lawyers representing foreign-born “enemy combatants” being held incommunicado in open-ended custody at Guantanamo Bay

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