Shaker Aamer at Guantanamo

Shaker Aamer

Date of Birth: 21 December 1966
Nationality: Saudi (Legal British resident)
Arrested: Afghanistan, 2001
Currently held: Guantánamo Bay
Status: Cleared for release


Shaker Aamer has been held in Guantánamo Bay since 2002. He is a legal permanent resident of the UK, married to a British national, with four British children living in London.

Shaker Aamer is the last British resident detained at Guantanamo Bay. He has never been charged with a crime or been given a trial. In 2007 Shaker was cleared for release from Guantanamo by the US government, a process that involves unanimous agreement by six federal agencies including the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Justice, Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Despite this, Shaker remains detained, away from his wife and four children who live in London.

Shaker grew up in Saudi Arabia before moving to London to start a family.

In June 2001, Shaker went to Afghanistan to undertake voluntary work for an Islamic charity. After the US invasion of Afghanistan, which followed September 11, Kabul became unstable. The US widely advertised its programming of buying foreigners—largely Arabs—for bounties. This, combined with growing local suspicion of all Arabs in the country following the assassination of Ahmad Shah Masood by Tunisians, led Shaker to fear for his safety. He went into hiding with an Afghan family. Soon after, however, soldiers arrived at the house and took him away at gunpoint.

Over the next few weeks Shaker was sold to various groups of soldiers before being transferred to US custody and rendered to Bagram Air Force Base in December 2001. There, he was tortured. Shaker was deprived of sleep and food, chained in excruciating positions for hours, doused in freezing water and had his head slammed against a wall for weeks on end. Desperate for the torture to end, Shaker confessed to whatever his captors accused him of. Satisfied with the confession of a man under torture, US forces transferred him to Guantanamo Bay on Valentine’s Day 2002 – the same day his youngest son was born.

While in Guantanamo, Shaker has often gone on hunger strike to peacefully protest the appalling conditions and brutal treatment to which he and other detainees are subjected. As a result of what the prison sees as his ‘non-compliance’, Shaker is confined to a 6 by 8 foot windowless cell and is frequently forced to undergo extended periods in solitary confinement.  

Shaker’s treatment in Guantanamo has had a dire impact on his health. In 2014 independent doctor Emily Keram travelled to the prison to evaluate Shaker. In her subsequent report she described his debilitating headaches, asthma, and chronic urinary retention. Most recently, Cori Crider, Strategic Director at Reprieve and one of Shaker’s attorneys, also expressed her concerns, saying that he ‘cannot be recognized from the rotund photo of him with his children’.

The UK government has repeatedly stated that they want Shaker released from Guantanamo and returned to his family in London. Clive Stafford Smith maintains that Shaker is still imprisoned because of the torture by US and UK agents that he witnessed in US detention. 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. The US and UK intelligence services appear to be working together to ensure Shaker stays where he is or gets shipped off to Saudi Arabia. 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."

Shaker wants nothing more than to be able to go home to London and to meet his youngest son for the first time. How you can help Shaker Aamer

Shaker is a permanent British resident, and is married to a British citizen. He has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but the US authorities will not allow him to return to his family in London.

Pressure from the British government is vital in securing Shaker’s release – please click below to write to your MP and ask them to take action on Shaker’s case.

How you can help Shaker Aamer

Shaker is a permanent British resident, and is married to a British citizen. He has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but the US authorities will not allow him to return to his family in London.

Please sign the e-petition requesting that Shaker be returned to the UK: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/33133

Pressure from the British government is vital in securing Shaker’s release – please click below to write to your MP and ask them to take action on Shaker’s case. 

writetothem.com

Shaker Aamer's case history

Downloads

We’re all over the web

Support us on these sites…