The believers, men and women, are Auliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another…
Despite being cleared by the Americans years ago of having committed no crime, why is Shaker Aamer still in Guantanamo? Why has the British government been so wilfully hapless; preferring him to languish a victim of a terrible injustice? Although better late than never, more than 11 years were needed for the gross injustice that is being inflicted upon a British National and Muslim compatriot, Shaker Aamer to come to light in the mainstream media. The media’s decade long silence was to overlook Aamer’s initial ordeal in Afghanistan as an aid worker when his head was repeatedly hammered against a wall, before being sold off by the Afghani Northern Alliance to the Guantánamo torture facility. On the 14th of February 2002, the very day his youngest son Faris was born, Shaker, with brutally shackled arms and legs was airlifted to the notorious Guantánamo bay. More than a decade since that nightmare, some 1000 days have been spent by Shaker, locked up in a cell enclosed from all sunlight. Amidst the complacency of both US and UK authorities, Shaker Aamer has been the subject of perpetual mental and physical harm, is now suffering severe back pain from persistent beating, “rheumatism from the fridge-like air conditioning” and “asthma exacerbated by the toxic sprays” used by prison guards to further increase his agony. Now, after a hunger strike that has exceeded 70 days, his condition is deteriorating and fears of his death are increasing. Authorities have continued to neglect him of desperately needed medical attention while his detention continues, absent of any governmental justification.
About Situation in Guantanamo since Detention
Medina born, Shaker Aamer spent a part of his life working in the USA as a translator before moving to the UK to continue this profession and establish a family. In the summer of 2001, Shaker travelled to Afghanistan to assist the humanitarian relief work. Of course at this time, sporadic arrests were rampant.The United States utilised mercenaries to embark on its campaign of collective punishment in order to justify its inexcusable invasion, while huge bounties for prisoners were up for stake. Shaker was among the thousands detained and selectively labelled as the “worst of the worst” terrorists in the world and with the group of 779 prisoners who were sent to Guantánamo bay. An intellectual who is articulate in English, it was here that Shaker would represent other detainees, resisting inhumane treatment. Through this, he would find himself subject to prolonged solitary confinement. Shaker would be forced to stay awake for days on end and have freezing water poured over him during the bitterest days of the winter. Persistently he would be chained in positions that made movement extremely painful. Request for even water would provoke a ‘forcible cell extraction’ where he would be shackled and dragged in ways that are excruciatingly painful. Shaker’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, of human rights organisation Reprieve, asserts that Aamer’s detention has led to him developing ‘arthritis, asthma, prostate problems, pains in his kidneys and neck, shoulder and back pain resulting from beatings’. Other details concerning inflicted torture remain ‘classified’ by the US government while the British government remains incapacitated before the US to withdraw its own citizen from this dungeon.
Suggested Reasons for Detention
Despite being cleared of all charges in 2007 and then again in 2010 by the Bush and Obama administrations respectively, Shaker remains repressed at Guantánamo for motives that are only now being spoken about in mainstream newspapers here in the UK. More than 600 captives who were previously dubbed as ‘terrorists’ have been sent home and declared crimeless following agonising ordeals at the facility. Why was Shaker Aamer not amongst them? It has been alleged that before Shaker’s deportation to Guantánamo and while detained at Afghanistan’s Bagram airport, that he observed the persecution of Ibn Shaikh al-Libi who was extradited to Egypt by the CIA. This was to force a confession under torture to the effect that Saddam Hussain’s regime trained Al Qaeda in the use of WMD’s, now affirmed as completely fraudulent. Indeed this argument was instrumental to the Bush administration in facilitating the invasion of Iraq. As Shaker affirms, members from the MI6 were present during Al Libi’s persecution. He was to furthermore witness the peculiar ‘suicides’ that allegedly took place in 2006 at the facility, claiming the lives of Salah Ahmed al-Salami of Yemen, and Mani Shaman al-Utaybi and Yasser Talal al-Zahrani of Saudi Arabia. This is not to mention the crimes perpetrated at the facility and witnessed by Shaker, the exposure of which will be extremely embarrassing for the UK and US governments. Of course such exposure would only be achieved by his return to the UK, unfettered enjoying his right to ‘freedom of speech’. Shaker is of the first to outline and document his difficult ordeal, one that if disseminated to the public will bring to light a spectacle of the heartless and alleged ‘war on terror’. Not least the complacency of UK intelligence services to torture, so long as it remains hiddenfrom the UK voter.
Analysis into Suggested Reasons for Detention
The UK government is pressed between two options. The first is to abandon claims to the effect that it upholds human rights and does not endorse torture or rendition to countries where this is rampant. The second is to release Shaker Aamer to assess the credibility of his claim and hold perpetrators accountable. Overlooking this issue only adds veracity to his position and defeats all opposing claims outright. Undeniably, torture at the hands of US security personnel is documented and well-known. Yet MI6 complacency at the extradition of Al Libi equates the injustices committed by Britain, pre-Iraq invasion with those of the US. Moreover, for the British citizen, the realisation that 100,000 signatures are required for an issue of illegal and cruel imprisonment at the hands of a foreign power be ‘debated’ in parliament is in the least agitating. It questions the worth of the British Citizen and elaborates the will of the government to conceal truths of human rights violations from the public. Nevertheless, the proceedings of this debate, requested by the MP of Shaker’s family, Jane Ellison will bring to light Shaker Aamer’s case and help bring an end to this outrageous detention. Nothing less than the immediate release of our brother to his home and family in London, not Saudi Arabia should be demanded. The outcome of the debate should be pursued until tangible actions to secure his release are witnessed. The efforts of those who have signed the petition and have lobbied their MPs will by the will of Allah be recorded, but our defence of Shaker, our brother in faith should remain unconditional to his health and forever persistent until our demands are met.
 Quran At-Taubah 9:71
The views expressed on Islam21c and its connected channels do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation.