[Pnews] Guantánamo political prisoner, Shaker Aamer - A Bitter Valentine's Day

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 14 14:06:51 EST 2014


  A Bitter Valentine's Day

Posted: 14/02/2014 07:56
*http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/shaker-aamer/shaker-aamer-guantanamo-bay_b_4781575.html*

It's 14 February. In Britain it will be Valentine's Day. In 2002, it was 
the day I arrived in Guantánamo Bay, and the day my youngest child was 
born - Faris, whom I have never been allowed to touch.

Yesterday, my fellow detainee Emad Hassan did not take his legal call, 
for the same reason every time he misses a phone call or a meeting. They 
intimidate him by telling him before he goes, "we'll do a full body 
search" - the "scrotum groping search" as they call it. So Emad goes 
with them to the Camp 5 exit where they plan to do the search, and when 
he sees them ready to carry out a full body search, he tells them that 
he refuses the humiliation, and demands to go back to his cell.

Indeed, the authorities don't want someone like Emad to let the world 
know what has happened to him. Recently, he encountered the worst doctor 
here in Guantánamo - the "Doctor of the Dark Side". I told him to write 
as much as he can about it and send it out, but it takes time for him to 
write in English, and it takes time for the letters to get through the 
censors.

I am on my hunger strike. Last night, I took one cup of coffee and added 
two creamers. As a consequence, all this morning I had bad diarrhoea and 
went to the toilet more than six times in half an hour. That is why I am 
writing now. I can't go to sleep, plus it is nice to write something 
about this place on the first day of my New Year.

There are 35 hunger strikers now. Eighteen of them are being tube-fed. 
These brothers go and return from feedings by the FCE [Forcible Cell 
Extraction] team. They even are weighed by the FCE team, but it's 
impossible to take someone's weight whilst he is shaking so hard on the 
digital scale and tied to a board. But this means there are 11 or 12 
soldiers required every time they have to be moved, as many as five or 
six times a day.

It is exactly 8:00AM and the National Anthem is playing so loudly. There 
are big rumours going around, and we hope they are true. It is said that 
the Government dropped the charges against 12 Yemenis and that only two 
Yemenis will be prosecuted (Bin Attash and Nashiri). The eligible ones 
will go to Yemen in three groups: only those who have conditions will be 
kept in the planned rehabilitation centre; those who have no conditions 
will be free; and the third group will be those who are to be prosecuted 
in Yemen, serving their jail sentence in Yemen.

What else... How do I feel with another year of my life gone unjustly 
and another year started? Truly, I feel numb. I can't even think about 
it. Years are passing like months and months like weeks. Weeks pass like 
days and days like hours. Hours feel like minutes, minutes seconds, and 
seconds pass like years. And it goes around in a strange circle that 
makes no sense. It all takes an age, and yet an age of my life seems to 
pass too fast. On and on and on.
I live in the dark, knowing nothing. Here I am, cleared for release for 
seven years, more than half my time here. What, why, when, how, where? 
These questions have no answers, only total darkness.

I feel lonely and lost. Not knowing my future is the worst torture. I am 
living just to die. I am confused about everything and everyone. It is 
not enough for them to leave us alone with all this pain we are 
suffering. It is not enough for us to live only with our memories, which 
bring more pain. Dead people are better off than us. They are living a 
new way of life, knowing that they are dead and facing the consequences 
of their past actions.

But our suffering is endless - and with it, our loved ones' suffering is 
endless. We are not dead but they forget us after awhile, because they 
cannot see us or feel us and know how we truly are.

Yet still they do more harm to us: humiliating and insulting us, 
degrading us, anything to make us more miserable. Welcome to the Hell on 
Earth, welcome to Guantánamo. Welcome to the year 1984, the year 2014.

I have no doubt justice will prevail and the light of the truth will 
shine all over the world. What is happening to us and others is a small 
price for justice, peace, and happiness which will cover the whole world 
soon. Always, after total darkness, the sun rises again. I hope to see 
the sun of justice, peace, and happiness with my own eyes. It will be a 
great day.

If I don't get to see that sun, please remember that I have endured all 
this in the name of Justice.

Shaker Aamer

Alone in Guantánamo

*Shaker relayed this blog post to his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith in an 
unclassified letter*


* Follow Shaker Aamer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Reprieveuk 
<http://www.twitter.com/Reprieveuk> *

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