Forgotten in Guantánamo: British resident Shaker Aamer

11.3.09

For three and a half years, since an account was first made public detailing the suffering of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident and a victim of “extraordinary rendition” and particularly brutal torture, he was one of the better-publicized prisoners held in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

There have, in that time, been other compelling stories, of prisoners, who, like Binyam, eventually secured their release from the notorious prison that was initially designed to hold them outside the law for the rest of their lives. They include other British residents: Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil El-Banna, for example, who were seized by the CIA on a business trip to the Gambia, after disturbing intervention by the British intelligence services, and Omar Deghayes, seized from a villa in Lahore with his wife and six-month old son, whose supporters in Brighton mounted an extraordinary campaign for his release. Others include two particular Sudanese prisoners: Adel Hassan Hamad, a hospital administrator whose lawyers and supporters mounted an impressive campaign that included a website and a YouTube video, and Sami al-Haj, a cameraman for al-Jazeera, who became a cause célèbre in the Middle East.

Unlike these prisoners, the stories of the majority of the other 278 men released in the last three and a half years are largely unknown, and the same is true of most of the 241 men who are still held, with the exception of a number of cleared prisoners (principally the Uighurs, Muslims from China’s oppressed Xinjiang province), and a number of other prisoners — including two former juveniles, Omar Khadr and Mohamed Jawad, and five men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks — who were put forward for trial by Military Commission.

Spotlight on Shaker Aamer

However, while I urge readers to examine the stories of the remaining prisoners — and a good starting point is the definitive prisoner list that I published last week, which features links to the men’s stories online and references to other stories in my book The Guantánamo Files — it’s clear that, with Binyam’s release, the spotlight, in Britain at least, must now be focused unerringly on the last British resident in Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer, a man so bright, so articulate, so charismatic and so passionately opposed to injustice that the authorities at Guantánamo named him “The Professor.” This sounds like a mark of respect, but, despite the fact that Shaker had no involvement whatsoever with terrorism, and was one of hundreds of Guantánamo prisoners who were sold to US forces for a bounty payment, his eloquence and influence unnerved the authorities at Guantánamo to such an extent that they mistakenly concluded that he was a leader of al-Qaeda.

Shaker’s resistance to injustice began long before his capture by US forces. Arriving in the UK from Saudi Arabia in 1996, he was granted leave to remain, and soon met and married a British woman, with whom he has four children (although he has never seen his youngest child, who was born after he was seized). Pursuing his passion for justice, he volunteered with a law firm as a translator, helping to advise other immigrants of their rights, but in 2000, after hearing about the opportunities for practical humanitarian aid in Afghanistan that were available through a Saudi-funded children’s charity, he and his friend Moazzam Begg, whom he had met in 1997, decided to travel with their families to Kabul to establish a girl’s school, and also to pursue a number of well-digging projects that they had funded separately.

In an interview for the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by myself and Polly Nash, and released in October 2009), Moazzam explained to me that, although the Taliban had been “shunned by the rest of the world, there was at that time a drive, within certain sections of the Muslim community, not to shun the country but to inject it with support to help it, to bring it up to the standards of the rest of the world.”

The men’s compassionate adventure was, however, short-lived. They arrived in Kabul in the summer of 2001, and within a few months the 9/11 attacks took place. Unsure of what would happen next, they waited until the US-led invasion began before fleeing the country. As Shaker’s wife explained to the Independent in 2007:

The bombs were falling every night and we had to leave the city to stay in a village. The children were terrified and kept telling us to be quiet in case our noise made the bombs come. Shaker was frightened too and I can remember his face now, it was almost as pale as the colour of the cream suit he was wearing. Shaker left the village to find a safer place for us. But in the middle of the night the villagers told us we had to go with a group travelling to the safety of Pakistan. I was pregnant with our fourth child and we were all scared. In the end, I just went. I didn’t see Shaker again. Sometimes I regret that decision. What if I stayed — would we all be together now?

The answer to that question is, of course, unknown, but what is certain is that, having been separated from his family, Shaker soon fell prey to Afghan bounty hunters, taking advantage of the rewards, averaging $5000 a head, that were offered by US forces for “al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects,” who seized him and sold him to a group of Afghan soldiers, who in turn sold him to US forces.

A notorious US PsyOps leaflet offering Afghan and Pakistani villagers money for life in exchange for handing over “al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects.”

“If no justice is offered then I will resist”

Once in US custody, in the brutal and rudimentary US prison at Kandahar airport, which was used to process prisoners for Guantánamo, Shaker’s command of English not only unnerved the US authorities; it also made him an invaluable bridge between the prisoners and their captors, as so few of the prisoners spoke any English. It was also in Kandahar that Shaker’s passionate sense of justice and fair play was immediately outraged by the prisoners’ treatment. As Moazzam explained to me:

When I was first taken into Kandahar, Shaker had been there a few weeks before I was, and he’d been in the first group of people that was sent to Guantánamo. And having spoken to interrogators there who’d asked me about him, first of all they were very impressed by his behaviour, his attitude, his willingness to speak to them, to try to explain things to them, and yet they were also worried about his character, in that, if no justice is offered then I will resist. And part of his resistance began, I think, at that time in Kandahar, which included a hunger strike … and not just a hunger strike, but also telling other people, “We can’t accept this type of behaviour with us. We’re human beings and we need to be treated like human beings.”

Shaker’s resistance to injustice continued in Guantánamo, of course, where, for three and a half years, he spoke up incessantly on behalf of his fellow prisoners.  In 2004-05, after a Supreme Court ruling had granted the prisoners the right to file habeas corpus petitions asking why they were being held, he helped a number of prisoners with their petitions by designating himself as their “next friend,” which authorized him to file suits on their behalf. In an affidavit filed in a court in Washington D.C., he wrote, “I am their close friend as a result of being placed with them in Guantánamo. And I know they want me to act on their behalf as their next friend.”

In August 2005, he was briefly part of a six-man Prisoners’ Council that was allowed — over the course of a few weeks — to meet to discuss how to end a hunger strike that involved around 200 prisoners, but when the Council was brought to an abrupt end by the authorities, apparently because Shaker in particular had been agitating for their right to have a fair trial or to be released, they were so worried about what they regarded as the influence that he wielded over the other prisoners that they moved him to Camp Echo, a state-of-the-art isolation block in which the technology is so refined that prisoners have almost no contact with any other human being, where he was held in solitary confinement for at least 18 months until he was moved to Camp 3 — for prisoners regarded as having significant intelligence value, or, like Shaker, significant leadership qualities — where he is still held.

Some indication of the authorities’ fear of Shaker can be gleaned from the fact that, while he was held in solitary confinement, two other members of the Council were released from Guantánamo. Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban’s representative in Pakistan, was released in September 2005, and Ala Muhammad Salim, an Egyptian cleric and one of eight freed prisoners that the Pentagon refused to repatriate because of fears that they would be tortured in their home countries, was released to Albania in December 2006.

The other three men who are still held are: Sabir Lahmar, a Bosnian of Algerian origin, and an Islamic scholar, who remains at Guantánamo even though three of his compatriots were released three months ago, after their habeas corpus case was reviewed in a US court, and the judge found that the government had failed to establish a case against him and four other Bosnian prisoners; Adel Ali Fattough El-Gazzar, a former officer in the Egyptian army, who has been cleared for release; and Ghassan al-Sharbi, a Saudi who was scheduled to face a trial by Military Commission at Guantánamo until Barack Obama called a four-month halt to the Commissions on his first day in office, to facilitate a review of the much-criticized trial system.

Further evidence of the authorities’ disproportionate fear of Shaker can be gleaned from the fact that, although Col. Mike Bumgarner, the warden of Guantánamo who initiated the Prisoners’ Council, had initially been in awe of him, noting that, on a tour of the cell blocks when Shaker almost single-handedly called an end to the hunger strike, “I have never seen grown men — with beards, hardened men — crying at the sight of another man,” and adding, “It was like I was with Bon Jovi,” he never spoke to him again after the Council’s activities were abruptly curtailed, and Shaker was sent to Camp Echo. This was in marked contrast to Col. Bumgarner’s attitude to al-Sharbi, a self-confessed member of al-Qaeda (one of the few in Guantánamo), who had been captured with Abu Zubaydah, a training camp facilitator — and alleged senior al-Qaeda operative — in a house raid in Faisalabad, Pakistan, with whom he maintained an unlikely friendship.

Long-term isolation as a form of torture

The chronic isolation to which Shaker was subjected — amongst the longest endured by any prisoner in Guantánamo — was, of course, demonstrably cruel and inhuman. This was recognized in December 2002 by Defense Department lawyers, when the use of isolation was approved by Donald Rumsfeld for implementation at Guantánamo as part of a package of “enhanced interrogation techniques” (PDF). At the time of Rumsfeld’s memo, the lawyers, drawing on advice issued by the CIA in a definitive manual in the 1960s, warned that isolation was “not known to have been generally used for interrogation purposes for longer than 30 days.”

In spite of this, and in spite of high-level opposition to the implementation of all the techniques, which also included forced nudity, sensory deprivation, hooding, 20-hour interrogations, the use of stress positions, forced grooming (shaving of the head and beard), and playing on prisoners’ phobias, such as a fear of dogs, it’s clear that prisoners were routinely subjected to isolation as punishment — often in cells where the air conditioning was either turned up full, so that they were freezing cold, or turned off completely, so that they had difficulty breathing — for periods in excess of a month, and that isolation is still a key component of the regime at Guantánamo, despite a change of administration.

As was reported by Murat Kurnaz, the German prisoner released in August 2006, in his book Five Years of My Life, isolation as punishment often pushed prisoners to the brink of suffocation, but when their time came to an end they were at least reunited with their fellow prisoners. For Shaker, held for so much longer, and deprived of even the barest crumbs of human comfort, the effect was far more harrowing. When Clive Stafford Smith, his lawyer, saw him in 2007, he declared that he was clearly suffering from psychosis, and one of the reasons that his story then slipped off the radar was because he appeared to have become so paranoid and withdrawn that he refused to engage with his lawyers, and therefore had almost no contact with the outside world.

To make matters worse, Shaker, who weighed 17 stone before his capture, has also spent much of the last three and a half years on a hunger strike, and at one point weighed only eight and half stone. Embarking on a hunger strike at Guantánamo is a gruesome process, which involves being strapped into a restraint chair and force-fed twice a day through a tube inserted into the stomach through the nose, but as long ago as November 2005, Shaker appealed for his right to die by starving himself, seeing no other way in which to protest the conditions in which he and his fellow prisoners were held, “I am dying here every day, mentally and physically,” he wrote. “This is happening to all of us. We have been ignored, locked up in the middle of the ocean for years. Rather than humiliate myself, having to beg for water, I would rather hurry up the process that is going to happen anyway … I want to make it easy on everyone. I want no feeding, no forced tubes, no ‘help,’ no ‘intensive assisted feeding,’ This is my legal right.”

Why is Shaker still at Guantánamo?

There is no good reason why Shaker is still held, beyond the fact that he long ago carved out a niche for himself as a particularly significant prisoner because of his eloquence, his command of the English language and his resistance to injustice. The US authorities have made feeble attempts to implicate him in terrorist activities, but have never substantiated any of them. In August 2007, for example, shortly after the British government requested the return of five British residents, including Shaker, Sandra Hodgkinson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs in the Pentagon, responded by conjuring up allegations that had never surfaced before, including a claim that Shaker “lived on stipends in Afghanistan paid by [Osama] bin Laden.” As Moazzam explained in response, “I find that really funny because we used to live together in the same house … I know he didn’t have any stipends from anybody.”

What makes his continued detention particularly galling is that he has, officially, been cleared for release from Guantánamo by the authorities, as part of a series of annual reviews designed to ascertain who is still regarded as dangerous and/or of ongoing intelligence value, and who can be released. On this basis, he should have been on the plane that flew Binyam Mohamed back from Guantánamo on February 23, but he was not. Compounding this lingering injustice — and demonstrating that, when it comes to releasing prisoners from Guantánamo, the whims of the Bush administration are still in effect — the Independent reported that a party of Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials, who visited Binyam at Guantánamo before his release, also had “limited contact” with Shaker, and that a spokesman for the FCO explained that “the Americans had told the British Government that they still had security concerns about Mr. Aamer and would not release him.”

It is, surely, time for this long travesty of justice — which has appalled Shaker Aamer to the core of his being and has driven him to the edge of his sanity — to come to an end.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed.

As written exclusively for Cageprisoners.

To write letters to the British government requesting Shaker’s immediate return, please see the following Cageprisoners action sheet.

For a sequence of articles dealing with the hunger strikes at Guantánamo, see Shaker Aamer, A South London Man in Guantánamo: The Children Speak (July 2007), Guantánamo: al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj fears that he will die (September 2007), The long suffering of Mohammed al-Amin, a Mauritanian teenager sent home from Guantánamo (October 2007), Guantánamo suicides: so who’s telling the truth? (October 2007), Innocents and Foot Soldiers: The Stories of the 14 Saudis Just Released From Guantánamo (Yousef al-Shehri and Murtadha Makram) (November 2007), A letter from Guantánamo (by Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj) (January 2008), A Chinese Muslim’s desperate plea from Guantánamo (March 2008), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), The forgotten anniversary of a Guantánamo suicide (May 2008), Binyam Mohamed embarks on hunger strike to protest Guantánamo charges (June 2008), Second anniversary of triple suicide at Guantánamo (June 2008), Guantánamo Suicide Report: Truth or Travesty? (August 2008), Seven Years Of Guantánamo, And A Call For Justice At Bagram (January 2009), British torture victim Binyam Mohamed to be released from Guantánamo (January 2009), Don’t Forget Guantánamo (February 2009), Who’s Running Guantánamo? (February 2009), Obama’s “Humane” Guantánamo Is A Bitter Joke (February 2009), Guantánamo’s Long-Term Hunger Striker Should Be Sent Home (March 2009). Also see the following online chapters of The Guantánamo Files: Website Extras 2 (Ahmed Kuman, Mohammed Haidel), Website Extras 3 (Abdullah al-Yafi, Abdul Rahman Shalabi), Website Extras 4 (Bakri al-Samiri, Murtadha Makram), Website Extras 5 (Ali Mohsen Salih, Ali Yahya al-Raimi, Abu Bakr Alahdal, Tarek Baada, Abdul al-Razzaq Salih).

For a sequence of articles dealing with the use of torture by the CIA, on “high-value detainees,” and in the secret prisons, see: Guantánamo’s tangled web: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Majid Khan, dubious US convictions, and a dying man (July 2007), Jane Mayer on the CIA’s “black sites,” condemnation by the Red Cross, and Guantánamo’s “high-value” detainees (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) (August 2007), Waterboarding: two questions for Michael Hayden about three “high-value” detainees now in Guantánamo (February 2008), Six in Guantánamo Charged with 9/11 Murders: Why Now? And What About the Torture? (February 2008), The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Confirms FBI’s Doubts (April 2008), Guantánamo Trials: Another Torture Victim Charged (Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, July 2008), Secret Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed: Six “High-Value” Guantánamo Prisoners Held, Plus “Ghost Prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (August 2008), Will the Bush administration be held accountable for war crimes? (December 2008), The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part One) and The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part Two) (December 2008), Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s Torturers (March 2009), Abu Zubaydah: The Futility Of Torture and A Trail of Broken Lives (March 2009), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part One), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part Two), 9/11 Commission Director Philip Zelikow Condemns Bush Torture Program, Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah?, CIA Torture Began In Afghanistan 8 Months before DoJ Approval, Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low (all April 2009), Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison, Dick Cheney And The Death Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, The “Suicide” Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi: Why The Media Silence?, Two Experts Cast Doubt On Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi’s “Suicide”, Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney On Use Of Torture To Invade Iraq, In the Guardian: Death in Libya, betrayal by the West (in the Guardian here) (all May 2009), Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney’s Iraq Lies Again (And Rumsfeld And The CIA), and WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (June 2009). Also see the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

For other stories discussing the use of torture in secret prisons, see: An unreported story from Guantánamo: the tale of Sanad al-Kazimi (August 2007), Rendered to Egypt for torture, Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni is released from Guantánamo (September 2008), A History of Music Torture in the “War on Terror” (December 2008), Seven Years of Torture: Binyam Mohamed Tells His Story (March 2009), and also see the extensive Binyam Mohamed archive. And for other stories discussing torture at Guantánamo and/or in “conventional” US prisons in Afghanistan, see: The testimony of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes: includes allegations of previously unreported murders in the US prison at Bagram airbase (August 2007), Guantánamo Transcripts: “Ghost” Prisoners Speak After Five And A Half Years, And “9/11 hijacker” Recants His Tortured Confession (September 2007), The Trials of Omar Khadr, Guantánamo’s “child soldier” (November 2007), Former US interrogator Damien Corsetti recalls the torture of prisoners in Bagram and Abu Ghraib (December 2007), Guantánamo’s shambolic trials (February 2008), Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials (March 2008), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns “Chaotic” Trials in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (Mohammed El-Gharani, January 2009), Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession (Susan Crawford on Mohammed al-Qahtani, January 2009), and the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

29 Responses

  1. Frances Madeson says...

    Amazing, in Guantanamo, one just can’t win. Punished if one is the “worst of the worst” and even more severely punished if one is “the best of the best.”

  2. Jeremy says...

    See http://blog.prospectblogs.com/2009/03/11/guantanamo-a-strategic-victory/#comments
    for a not very interesting discussion. Prospect magazine once again fails to spot the main issue.

  3. Dictatorial Powers Unchallenged As US “Enemy Combatant” Pleads Guilty by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] was shared only by the other two US “enemy combatants,” Yasser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, and a handful of prisoners in Guantánamo. His isolation was such that, according to a psychiatric assessment conducted on [...]

  4. UK Government Lies Exposed; Spy Visited Binyam Mohamed In Morocco + Daily Mail Pulls Story by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] but that it was “only recently that new sources have come forward to support his account,” Shaker Aamer, a British resident who is still held in Guantánamo, was actually seized with Informant A in [...]

  5. Joy Hurcombe says...

    Hi Andy,
    Are you able to come to our 8 hour vigil for Shaker on Sunday 27th September ? We will be opposite the Brighton Centre, venue for the Labour Party Conference. Do come any time between 10am and 6pm. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STAY FOR THE WHOLE VIGIL,
    Best wishes,
    Joy

  6. Film Launch: Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (who was released in February 2009) and Omar Deghayes — [...]

  7. “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” « Earwicga says...

    [...] on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (who was released in February 2009) and Omar Deghayes — [...]

  8. Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo – Andy Worthington’s US tour dates, November 2009 « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (who was released in February 2009) and Omar Deghayes — [...]

  9. On Democracy Now! Andy Worthington Discusses the Forthcoming 9/11 Trials and “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (who was released in February 2009) and Omar Deghayes — [...]

  10. Andy Worthington on Antiwar Radio and ABC: Gitmo, Torture, Trials and his new film « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (who was released in February 2009) and Omar Deghayes — [...]

  11. Torture in Afghanistan: UK Court Orders Release of Evidence « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] marked him out, in the eyes of the authorities, as a leader of al-Qaeda. As I explained in an article earlier this year: In 2004-05, after a Supreme Court ruling had granted the prisoners the right to [...]

  12. Murders at Guantánamo: Scott Horton of Harper’s Exposes the Truth about the 2006 “Suicides” « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] of a triple suicide, Shaker Aamer was himself beaten severely on the night of the deaths. As I have explained in previous articles, Aamer, an eloquent, charismatic man, who stood up relentlessly for the [...]

  13. Andy Worthington Discusses Murders at Guantánamo and Bagram’s “Ghost Prisoners” on Antiwar Radio « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] also spoke about Shaker Aamer, who had also irritated the authorities to an extraordinary degree. A British resident, who is [...]

  14. Shaker Aamer’s Wife Speaks: “Since he has been away there is no colour in life” « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] the Wandsworth Guardian, Paul Cahalan has regularly covered the story of local resident Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo. In December, he wrote a detailed article about [...]

  15. Torture in Afghanistan and Guantánamo: Shaker Aamer’s Lawyers Speak « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] December, lawyers for Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, won an important court case in which judges ordered the [...]

  16. As Police Launch New Torture Inquiry, It’s Time For Shaker Aamer To Come Home from Guantanamo « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] investigating allegations that MI5 was complicit in the torture, in US custody in Afghanistan, of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident still held at Guantánamo. In the High Court, Richard Hermer QC, counsel [...]

  17. Murders at Guantanamo: Exposing the Truth About the 2006 Suicides. By Andy Worthington « Kanan48 says...

    [...] of a triple suicide, Shaker Aamer was himself beaten severely on the night of the deaths. As I have explained in previous articles, Aamer, an eloquent, charismatic man, who stood up relentlessly for the [...]

  18. Abu Zubaydah’s Torture Diary « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] Trial Chief’s Torture Confession (Susan Crawford on Mohammed al-Qahtani, January 2009), Forgotten in Guantánamo: British Resident Shaker Aamer (March 2009), A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad (June 2009), Torture In [...]

  19. Shaker Aamer: Campaign Group Asks Gordon Brown to Secure His Release from Guantánamo « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] readers of my work will be aware that I have long campaigned for the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo Bay. Shaker was cleared for release from Guantánamo over [...]

  20. Shaker Aamer: Campaign Group Asks Gordon Brown to Secure His Release from Guantánamo | Center for Anarchist Information and News says...

    [...] readers of my work will be aware that I have long campaigned for the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo Bay. Shaker was cleared for release from Guantánamo over [...]

  21. The Third Anniversary of a Death in Guantánamo 31.5.10 « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] Guantánamo? (February 2009), Obama’s “Humane” Guantánamo Is A Bitter Joke (February 2009), Forgotten in Guantánamo: British resident Shaker Aamer (March 2009), Guantánamo’s Long-Term Hunger Striker Should Be Sent Home (March 2009), [...]

  22. Close Guantanamo and Bagram jails « 21stcenturymanifesto says...

    [...] on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (who was released in February 2009) and Omar Deghayes — [...]

  23. John Betjeman says...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaker_Aamer#cite_note
    CsrtSummaryOfEvidenceShakirAbdurahimMohamedAmi-8

    The detainee is associated with the Taliban and al Qaida:

    1. The detainee arrived in Afghanistan in August 2001.
    2. The detainee is associated with a known terrorist with ties to al Qaida.
    3. The detainee is associated with a second known terrorist with ties to al Qaida, who is also a suspected hijacker.
    4. The detainee has traveled internationally on false passports.
    5. A stolen passport used by detainee was discovered in an abandoned cave in Tora Bora.
    6. The detainee has received training on the AK-47 rifle.
    7. The detainee participated in the conflict in Bosnia.
    8. The detainee has stayed at multiple in Afghanistan.
    9. The detainee has visited the Khaldan camp.
    10. The detainee received money from Usama Bin Laden.
    11. The detainee taught Arabs to fight during the Bosnia-Serb War.
    12. The detainee was armed with a 82mm mortar an M43 120mm mortar.
    13. The detainee is associated with a non-governmental organization that has ties to al Qaida.
    14. The detainee has met with Usama Bin Laden and other senior leaders of al Qaida.

  24. Andy Worthington says...

    And your evidence that any of these allegations are accurate is …?
    Please check out the US District Court judges’ analysis of the quality of the supposed evidence before reproducing allegations without any commentary. You can find many links here, demonstrating fundamental problems with statements/confessions made through coercion or through the torture of the prisoners themselves, or of their fellow prisoners:
    http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/guantanamo-habeas-results-the-definitive-list/
    The problem with parroting the prosecution case is just that: it’s the prosecution’s case, and if you were to do the same with any other kind of criminal case you’d find that — hey presto! everyone is guilty of everything.

  25. After Ten Years in US Custody, British Resident Shaker Aamer “Is Gradually Dying in Guantánamo,” Says Clive Stafford Smith | Save Shaker Campaign says...

    [...] his visit to Guantánamo, Stafford Smith was visiting Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, whose case has long been of concern to British citizens [...]

  26. British MPs Write to Congress to Complain About Guantánamo and to Demand the Release of Shaker Aamer | Save Shaker Campaign says...

    [...] Lucas and Michael Meacher — wrote an open letter to Congress seeking the return to the UK ofShaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison. Mr. Aamer’s story is familiar to those of us who have [...]

  27. British MPs Write to Congress to Complain About Guantánamo and to Demand the Release of Shaker Aamer « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] Lucas and Michael Meacher — wrote an open letter to Congress seeking the return to the UK of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison. Mr. Aamer’s story is familiar to those of us who have [...]

  28. Three UK Protests to Mark the 10th Anniversary of Shaker Aamer’s Arrival at Guantánamo | Save Shaker Campaign says...

    [...] one of 15 British citizens and residents held at Guantánamo. Shaker’s story is one that I have told and retold over the years, including in the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from [...]

  29. Promises broken on shuttering Guantanamo | Toledo Faith & Values says...

    [...] family. He was searching for a more secure location when he was picked up by bounty hunters. His wife described what happened:   “The bombs were falling every night and we had to leave the city to stay in a [...]

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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