Socialist Worker

Shaker Aamer still fears for his life from more US torture

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2474

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held in the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, still faces brutal treatment even though he is up for release.

He said he still fears for his life. “It means nothing that they have signed papers,” Shaker said. “Anything can happen before I get out. So if I die, it will be the full responsibility of the Americans.”

He was detained in 2001 in Afghanistan, where he was working for a charity.

The US has admitted since 2007 that it has no evidence against him. His lawyers believe they’ve held him so long because he has witnessed so much torture. 

Shaker Aamer explained his fears in an extensive interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper. 

He said, “In here, I am laughing, I am joking, but I am also screaming. The wound I carry lies deep inside, and I know this wound will start gushing as soon as I leave this place.”

But on top of this he has been on hunger strike since 

3 August in protest at a recent assault.

The Forcible Cell Extraction (FCE) team provide “discipline” in Guantanamo’s cells. 

Shaker asked, “How are you going to feel when the FCE team comes at you with a full crew? Six military police wearing full protective gear, looking like Darth Vaders from the film Star Wars, crouching behind their plexiglas shields. 

“The (OIC) Officer in Charge, the Assistant OIC and the Watch Commander. The Observer Guard, who will write down everything that happens to the second. 


“The Camera Guard, who will film this full-scale assault on one small detainee who is apparently such a threat to this overwhelming force. 

“The Corpsman, who is there to make sure the detainee stays alive. And the navy personnel who come along just to watch.”

Two years ago Shaker provided a statement on the torture he has suffered and witnessed to Scotland Yard. The Mail published a draft of the report.

He described what happened when he was first held in Afghanistan. “I felt someone grab my head and start beating my head into the back wall—so hard that my head was bouncing,” he wrote. 

“I later learned that this was a special technique that they used called ‘walling’.”

Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was held in the next cage at Bagram air base. His confession under torture was behind the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Shaker thought al-Libi had died when he was removed in a coffin. But he was actually being rendered to Egypt. 

Shaker talked of meeting a British agent while being held at a base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. 

 He said, “I had been badly beaten on arrival, then kept for four days and nights on the ground in the freezing cold. 

“He asked whether I would like him to interrogate me on behalf of the Americans. I asked him if he would help me resolve my situation. He said no, he would not.

“I eventually said whatever anyone wanted to hear. I have no real idea what I said.”

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