Friday, February 12, 2010


Shaker Aamer

Shaker Aamer, from Saudi Arabia, moved to the UK in 1996.

Reportedly he worked for a Saudi charity in Afghanistan.

In 2001, he was taken prisoner by the US and tortured at Bagram and at Guantanamo.

He says that interrogators in Afghanistan, who represented themselves as MI5 officers, told him he had two choices:

(1) agree to spy on suspects in the United Kingdom; or

(2) remain in US custody.

Harper's Magazine has said three deaths at Guantanamo, which were presented as suicides by hanging, could have been suffocations.

It has been suggested that the US is reluctant to release Aamer because he has claimed he was part-suffocated while being tortured.

Aamer has never been charged with any offence.

On 11 February 2010, yourlocalguardian (London) asks "Were MI5 agents present at Battersea Guantanamo man's torture?"

According to this article:

1. Secret files that could prove MI5 agents were present during the torture of Shaker Aamer, have been seen by his lawyer.

2. The lawyer said his client was effectively being gagged to cover up 'wrong doing'.

Reportedly, US government officials may have conspired to conceal evidence three Guantanamo detainees could have been murdered during interrogation.

3. The US is reluctant to release Aamer.

Aamer has claimed he was part-suffocated while being tortured the same evening as other detainees were being suffocated.

4. Aamer's lawyer says he has been denied basic access his client.

The lawyer says the 'secret files' compelled the UK Government to act.

"Before I saw these documents I stated unequivocally that the British Government is complicit in so far as it was present during his torture. Nothing that I have seen in those documents changes my mind," Mr Mickum, Mr Aamer's lawyer in the US, said.

"Generally speaking, and without revealing any detail from the documents, my overall impression of the documents is that they are exculpatory in nature, period.

"The documents are helpful to Shaker's defence, in so far as they describe the general allegations against Shaker, which we are in a position to refute almost unequivocally, and they show that he was tortured.

"What I have seen confirms my position that there is no legitimate evidence against him and confirms my continuing belief that he is being held by the Americans to cover up my government's wrongdoing.

"And unfortunately I have to, at this point, believe the British are not really advocating strongly enough for their return.

"As long as he is in Guantanamo he can't talk and I can't talk. He is still being tortured down there. And if he ends up dying down there I have to say there is blood on the British hands.

"The British can only sit back for so long and say 'we did everything we could'. He never posed a threat and he doesn't pose one now.

"What this is, is a PR problem for both of them. The British need to do the right thing."

5. The sources for the Harper’s article were former Guantanamo guards, one a sergeant.

Mr Mickum said: "I have no reason to doubt the information provided by the sergeant is true and what we know is that my client was subjected to being tortured by maybe seven individuals at the same time as three people were alleged to have committed suicide...

"My client wants to meet with me and he wants to talk to me, he is not being allowed to meet me or not being allowed to talk to me."

Clive Stafford Smith, director of human rights group Reprieve, said the Harper’s report added to his belief the US government was afraid of what Mr Aamer may reveal.

He said: "This is merely confirmation, fairly stark confirmation, that the reason they wanted not to send him home to his family in England, but rather to send him to [his native] Saudi Arabia was simply to gag him."



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