[Pnews] New calls for return of Guantanamo Brit, after 13 years of torture

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Dec 11 10:08:18 EST 2014


      Reprieve 00 (44) 207 553 8161  For immediate release: Thurs Dec 
11, 2014

*New calls for return of Guantanamo Brit, after 13 years of torture*

In the wake of a new report on US abuses post-9/11, calls have been 
renewed for the return of a British resident held without charge or 
trial at Guantanamo Bay for the past 13 years.

Shaker Aamer, a Londoner with a British wife and four British children, 
was captured and tortured by US forces in Afghanistan in 2001 before his 
rendition to Guantanamo Bay in 2002. His ordeal has included a litany of 
abuses similar to those described in the US Senate report on CIA 
torture, a portion of which was released this week. The details of CIA 
torture revealed in the report have provoked widespread condemnation.

As one of the first five prisoners taken to Bagram Air Force Base in 
late December 2001, Mr Aamer was forced to stay awake for nine days, 
beaten, denied food, and tied up in such a way as to risk strangling 
himself if he moved. Other times, he was forced to stand up for over 16 
hours a day.

During his 13 years at Guantanamo Bay, Mr Aamer has been repeatedly 
subjected to physical violence -- including regular beatings and 
"forcible cell extractions" (FCEs), at times as often as eight per day. 
He has also been forced into prolonged periods of solitary confinement, 
protracted sleep deprivation, manipulation of the temperature around 
him, and humiliating 'genital searches.'

Earlier this year, Mr Aamer said: "The worst thing about torture is that 
you don't know how to think, what to do, how to feel. You know you have 
your mind, but you don't know how to react, which is horrible because 
you feel vulnerable. It's terrible."

The UK government has repeatedly stated that it wants Mr Aamer released 
from Guantanamo and returned to his family in London. Mr Aamer's lawyer, 
Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith believes that he is still 
imprisoned because of the evidence he might give around UK complicity in 
torture. He has said: "It is deeply suspicious that the UK won't say why 
their friends in the US refuse to transfer Shaker home to London."

*Commenting, Clare Algar, Executive Director at Reprieve which 
represents Mr Aamer*, said: "Shaker has been to hell and back the last 
13 years, and continues to suffer abuse in Guantanamo -- it is high time 
he was returned to his family in London."

ENDS

For further information, please contact Reprieve's press office: +44 (0) 
207 553 8161 (UK) or +1 917 855 8064 (US)

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