[Ppnews] After eleven years of Guantánamo, British resident remains imprisoned

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 11 10:51:07 EST 2013

*After eleven years of Guantánamo, British resident remains imprisoned*

Today marks eleven years since the first men were taken to Guantánamo 
Bay. 166 men are still detained at the prison. The last British resident 
is still held despite having been cleared for release.

Shaker Aamer, from Wandsworth, is the last remaining British resident in 
the US prison. He has never been charged or tried, and published reports 
show that he is one of 88 remaining prisoners long cleared for release 
from the prison -- an arduous process requiring unanimous approval by no 
less than six federal agencies.

Shaker's wife and four children are British and he has never met his 
youngest son. The UK government have called for his release but to no avail.

Shaker was detained in November 2001. He was then sold for a bounty to 
US forces, tortured in Bagram Air Force Base and Kandahar (with British 
agents as witnesses), before being transferred to Guantánamo Bay in 
February 2002. He has been held and abused there ever since.

There is currently an ongoing Met police investigation 
the torture of Shaker and other men at the prison, while Reprieve and 
comedian Frankie Boyle recently announced 
that Shaker intends to sue the intelligence services for defamation.

There are grave fears for Shaker's health as he is suffering from a list 
of ailments, including arthritis and serious asthma problems. Recently 
declassified documents describe in Shaker's own words how he has been 
'ERF'd' -- subjected to regular, brutal beatings by the Emergency 
Reaction Force -- throughout his lengthy imprisonment in Guantánamo Bay. 
Shaker has said: "The ERF team grab me harshly, bend my arms and my head 
and slam me to the floor. They shackle me and put me in the chair."

*Reprieve's Director, Clive Stafford Smith*, said: /"The //US gulag 
Guantanamo Bay is //a disgrace where men are abused, and where any 
notion of human rights or the rule of law is flagrantly disregarded. 
//In the US films which purport to justify torture are being nominated 
for awards, those who did the torturing enjoying immunity and the 
courageous people who expose wrongdoing are prosecuted for violating 
secrecy. Those who continue to be subjected to abuse and indefinite 
detention are all but forgotten. I have seen Shaker very recently and 
all he wants is to come home to his wife and four children who are 
desperate to see him. The //UK// government must bring him home."/

*Comedian Frankie Boyle,* said: /"All Shaker wants is to come home. 
While the rest of us go on enjoying our lives, he remains under lock and 
key for no reason that anyone can fathom. It's disgraceful and 
devastating to think that this has all been going on for eleven years. 
It's time for the UK government to do what they keep saying they will, 
and get Shaker back."/


Notes to editors

1. For more information please contact Clemency Wells or Donald Campbell 
in Reprieve's Press Office on +44 (0) 207 553 8140 or clemency [DOT] 
wells [AT] reprieve [DOT] org [DOT] uk / donald [DOT] campbell [AT] 
reprieve [DOT] org [DOT] uk .

2. For further information on Guantánamo Bay please see Reprieve's 
<http://reprieve.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d176b31fc0ccbde9f3f3a6349&id=6781b11440&e=f8755a10f3> and 
for information about Reprieve's Guantánamo clients: 

3. For further information on Shaker Aamer please see his case page on 
Reprieve's website: http://www.reprieve.org.uk/cases/shakeraamer/ 

4. Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human 
rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve 
investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to 
provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. 
Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each 
person's right to a fair trial and saving lives.  Clive Stafford Smith 
is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of 
people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve's current casework involves representing 15 prisoners in the US 
prison at Guantánamo Bay, assisting over 70 prisoners facing the death 
penalty around the world, and conducting ongoing investigations into the 
rendition and the secret detention of 'ghost prisoners' in the so-called 
'war on terror.' Follow Reprieve on twitter: @ReprieveUK; if you were 
forwarded this release, sign up to join our press mailing list.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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