Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee still being held at Guantanamo bay is set to sue British intelligence agencies for torture and unlawful detention over his imprisonment and treatment at the Cuban based detention facility.
According to his lawyers, Aamer also alleges that both the MI5 and MI6 made statements against him that led to his detention without trial. The case will be taken to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
Though the Saudi born Aamer has been cleared for release by both the Bush and Obama administrations, he has still been in detention for over 11 years now, a clear violation of his human rights.
Aamer was arrested in 2011 when the US and its western allies invaded Afghanistan on allegations of being an al-qaeda fighter, claims which he vehemently denies, insisting instead that he was in the country working for a Saudi based charity organization. He further goes on to blame British intelligence agencies for providing false information to his interrogators which led to him being tortured and detained without trial.
According to the complaint filed at the IPT, Shaker Aamer alleges that the false information provided by the MI5 and MI6 is the sole reason why he is still being detained at Guantanamo. He further goes on to assert that he was mistreated and tortured while at Bagram prison in Afghanistan by UK security forces and that British intelligence actively sanctioned his transfer from Afghanistan to the Cuban base even when they knew it was illegal. Lawyers at Reprieve, the law firm representing Aamer say that their client is still being held at Guantanamo despite clearance from the US government for his release because of the false intel provided by both the MI5 and MI6.
Having been cleared by both the Bush and Obama administrations, one question that still lingers on every one’s mind is “why is he still being held at the base?”.
The answer is simple.
The British intelligence are very much terrified that his release could give him the opportunity to speak about the role they played in having him tortured and transferred to Guantanamo bay. Torture of prisoners in itself is a war crime and for this reason, they would rather have Shaker Aamer locked up – a grave violation to his human rights and right to a fair trial.
However, amidst all this, his lawyers are determined to secure his release from detention as soon as possible. They have written a letter to the foreign secretary William Hague and Home secretary Theresa May about the false accusations by British Intelligence services and his continued detention.
Celebrities have also called for his release, most notably comedian Frankie Doyle who donated all the £54,650 which he won in a libel case against the daily mirror to the “free Shaker Aamer campaign” and his legal fund. His children, some of whom have never met him personally, have also joined the campaign to have their father released from the base, personally writing letters to President Barrack Obama to help secure the release of their father.
All in all, it remains to be seen what the suit filed by Reprieve will produce and whether or not it will be enough to bring Shaker Aamer home.