Comedian Frankie Boyle today joined Reprieve to announce that the last remaining British resident in Guantanamo Bay is suing the intelligence services for defamation.
Shaker Aamer has been held at Guantanamo without charge or trial for nearly 11 years. He has been cleared for release under both the Bush and Obama administrations and yet remains imprisoned.
The UK government has repeatedly claimed that they want Shaker returned to the UK. Yet Shaker has told his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, that UK agencies are still telling lies about him – lies which prevent him from being released. Reprieve has finally been able to declassify enough material through the US censorship process to move forward on this litigation, and call the UK agents out on their defamation.
The defamation consists of untrue allegations and includes a picture of Shaker wearing normal Arabic clothes in London as proof of him being an extremist.
Shaker Aamer is currently at the centre of a police investigation into his torture and that of other men held at Guantanamo Bay.
Clive Stafford Smith, said: "They [the security services] go around saying all these awful things about him, which aren’t true. And say that this doesn’t infringe his good character. It’s just laughable. All we want is our day in court, where these allegations would never stand up.”
Frankie Boyle, said: "I can’t even call it a miscarriage of justice, because he’s never even had a trial. We just want to see him back home.”
MP Caroline Lucas, who supports the action, said: "The defamation of Shaker Aamer is evidence of the immense power of the security services to say whatever they want behind the backs of an accused man, to devastating effect. Shaker has been cleared for release by the US government – twice! - and yet remains in Guantanamo Bay where he has been for eleven years because of these lies, unable to defend himself. Such hypocrisy on the part of the British government is shameful and damaging. They should be holding the security services properly to account and redoubling efforts to bring Shaker home.”