Nov. 25, 2012 - This weekend marks eleven years since British resident, and father of four, Shaker Aamer was detained. He was subsequently sold for a bounty to US forces, tortured in Bagram Air Force Base and Kandahar (with British agents as witnesses), before being transferred to Guantánamo Bay where he has been held and abused ever since.
Recently declassified documents describe in Shaker's own words how he has been 'ERF'd' – subjected to regular, brutal beatings by the Emergency Reaction Force – throughout his lengthy imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay. Shaker has said: "The ERF team grab me harshly, bend my arms and my head and slam me to the floor. They shackle me and put me in the chair."
Shaker Aamer has never been charged with any offence, and has been cleared for release under both the Bush and Obama administrations. The British government have called for him to be returned to his British wife and four children in London. He remains imprisoned.
Commenting, Reprieve's Director, Clive Stafford Smith, said: "Can you imagine spending the last eleven years of your life locked up 4000 miles from your family, without charges, cleared for release but still detained? And on top of that Shaker has been beaten up - or ERF'd in the euphemistic language of Guantanamo - 260 times in the last year. Some people may be looking forward to a merry Christmas, but Shaker's torment is enough to make me choke on my turkey."
* Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person's right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.
Reprieve's current casework involves representing 15 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, assisting over 70 prisoners facing the death penalty around the world, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners' in the so-called ‘war on terror.' Follow Reprieve on twitter: @ReprieveUK
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