British Government to Pay Settlements to Guantanamo Detainees

In an extraordinary move yesterday, the British government agreed to pay an undisclosed but significant amount of compensation to British residents and citizens who were subject to extraordinary rendition, some of whom were sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The former detainees sued on the basis that the British government colluded with the United States government in their torture. The British government denies this deal was an admission in any way that they are guilty of the detainees’ claims. Rather, the decision to spend millions on confidential payouts was apparently driven by a desire to save the taxpayer money, (a court case would take significant resources over a matter of years and was estimated to cost tens of millions of dollars) as well as a desire to shield British foreign services from the scrutiny of the courts, since a previous ruling stated the British government would not be permitted to withhold any information in a court case.

This settlement also allows an inquiry into the very allegations the former detainees were making against the government to proceed – namely, whether the British government colluded with the United States or other governments to torture detainees.

While this is the largest scale settlement of its kind to come out of the War on Terror, it is certainly not the first. Canadian Maher Arar was detained by the US as he passed through JFK in 2002 and renditioned to Syria, where he was detained for a year and subjected to torture. Upon his release, the Canadian government held an inquiry into Arar’s rendition and ultimately apologized and paid him $10.5 million in compensation.  The United States, however, has not apologized for their treatment of Arar and has to this day refused to remove him from terror watchlists.

What do you think? Was this a deal with the devil? The best out of a bad lot? Or are these former detainees entitled to compensation?


Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago


gerlinde p.
gerlinde p7 years ago

good because most of them were innocent anyway.

david b.
david b7 years ago

It seems no problem for some body if the money of tax Bayer go to the war and killing Afghani,Pakistani ,Arabs, Palestinians , Lebanese,African, Latin the USA And England And all the member of NATO stop acting fascism and pull back you are not a master of this earth any more.

Terry S.
Terry S7 years ago

As a British citizen, I am disgusted that 'my' government is wasting taxpayers' money in this manner - 'compensation' should most definitely NOT be paid. The recipients of this money have not provided a jot of proof to substantiate their claims; all they have done is make lots of allegations, yet our pathetic whimpering government has just rolled over and handed them a small fortune. And this at a time when the government is cutting spending elsewhere on items such as payments to the old, disabled, sick and unemployed, and cutting spending on health, education, etc. Funny how there is not enough money for these things, but money always seems to be available to pay 'compensation' to criminals, terrorists, yobs and other near-do-wells. Moreover, we should never have allowed these people into the UK in the first place.

Dave Tohunga
Dave te tohunga7 years ago

It is incredible to me that there are some commenting here who endorse and sanction torture! Such people are accessories after the fact and attempting to pervert the course of justice! That's my judgement of such scum!

Dave Tohunga
Dave te tohunga7 years ago

Yet not one torturer or administrator who ordered it has been given life in jail for their abuse of their position of responsibility and crimes against humanity? It is the USA which is the terrorist rogue state committing genocide withDU WMDs and the endless list of atrocities executed by US secret service and military criminals!

Loretta R.
Loretta R7 years ago

The "terrorists" don't have to do a thing...we are causing our own demise by our immoral "un-Christian" behavior. Have we become "terroristic" ourselves?

Sue W.
Past Member 7 years ago

To start with it is not compensation that's being paid, it is payments to them and if all those detainees *were* guilty then NO, they should obviously not be given a penny.

However, with Bush saying so much about waterboarding that is pure evil, and if that was done to some innocent men then I suppose the answer has to be yes, though we'll never really know which it is.

Christine F.

What a load of tripe - especially all these comments.
They just go to prove that ALL forms of discrimination are wrong and will only get the haters into more trouble at the end of the day.

Politicians - to me, all you need to be to succeed here is to be a really good liar.
That's my bit of discrimination against a group of people, many of whom are possibly very honest and upright in their beliefs.

This article is not about whether the British were wrong, so the US copied, or the other way around.
The article is basically showing up that the detention itself was wrong. That was a crime against humanity, if ever, given that apparently the only "sin" was to be of the wrong nationality.
Where have we herd all this before, umpteen times?

Anyone arrested should have been through the judicial system by now. So the wholesale incarceration has, itself, been a crime.

Jennifer Bentzel
Jen Bentzel7 years ago

I am sure Al Queda can make good use of the money...