Guantanamo inmate’s release urged

Published: Thursday 11th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Brutal torture revelations in a damning report into the interrogation of detainees by America’s CIA add weight to calls for the release of t he last British prisoner being held in Guantanamo Bay, an MP has said.

Shaker Aamer, who is originally from Saudi Arabia but moved to Battersea, London, and has a wife and four children there, has been incarcerated at the US military prison since 2002.

His local MP, Conservative health minister Jane Ellison, told the Daily Mail: ” Shaker Aamer’s continued detention in Guantanamo Bay is unacceptable.

“The UK Government has confirmed repeatedly that they want him released to the UK and the latest revelations serve to underline that Shaker Aamer should be immediately reunited with his family in Battersea.”

Aamer, one of just over 100 prisoners left at the notorious detention centre, has been held there without charge for 12 years, accused of being a close associate of Osama bin Laden, something he denies.

Speaking from his cell last year he pleaded for the centre to be opened up to: “Let the world come and visit. Let the world hear what’s happening.”

He told an American news channel: “You cannot walk even half a metre without being chained. Is that a human being? That’s the treatment of an animal…

“It is very sad what is happening in this place.”

Aamer has been cleared for release since 2009, but on the condition that he returns to Saudi Arabia rather than the UK.

The Government has previously said it is “committed to using its best endeavours to ensuring Mr Aamer’s release and return to the UK”.

The 47-year-old’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith claims the reason for his continued detention is a fear he will reveal details of brutality he is alleged to have suffered, as well as what he has witnessed happening to other prisoners.

“Shaker knows too much. National embarrassment isn’t a reason to keep a man who has been cleared for release locked away in prison. Shaker must be returned to his family in London at once,” said Mr Smith.

Aamer was detained in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2001 after, his representatives claim, he went to the country to carry out voluntary work for an Islamic charity.

It is alleged that he was tortured at the Bagram Air Force base while being questioned by US forces and in February 2010 it emerged that the Metropolitan Police were investigating allegations of MI5 complicity in his torture.

A report published earlier this week by the US Senate Intelligence Committee said the interrogation of detainees in the wake of the 9/11 attacks were “far worse” than the CIA had portrayed to the American government.

Published: Thursday 11th December 2014 by The News Editor

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