AFTER 13 long years languishing in Guantánamo Bay concentration camp without trial or charge, Shaker Aamer is finally free!
A plane carrying Shaker Aamer touched down at Biggin Hill airfield in Kent yesterday at 1pm. On arrival Shaker was met by British officials and detectives before being taken straight to hospital. MI5 would not confirm or deny whether they would monitor him. Shaker Aamer will be reunited with his British wife and four children, the youngest of which he has never seen.
Tory PM Cameron said that there were no plans to detain him on arrival. Human rights organisations have renewed their call for Guantánamo Bay detention camp to be immediately shut down. During his detention at the US-run military prison in Cuba, Shaker alleges that he was tortured and subjected to physical and mental abuse.
Cori Crider, Shaker’s US attorney and Strategic Director of human rights organisation Reprieve said: ‘We are, of course, delighted that Shaker is on his way back to his home and his family here in the UK. It is long, long past time. Shaker now needs to see a doctor, and then get to spend time alone with his family as soon as possible.’
Islamic Human Rights Commission chair Massoud Shadjareh said: ‘Thankfully, the ordeal of another inmate at this barbaric institution is over. However, the question remains as to why the facility continues to operate despite universal international condemnation. It is an affront to civilisation and must be closed immediately.’
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said: ‘Shaker Aamer’s release will bring huge relief to his family but serious questions remain. Why did it take us so many years to persuade our closest ally to behave decently? How many young Britons have been radicalised, at least in part, by kidnap, internment and torture in freedom’s name?’
Aisha Maniar, spokesperson for the London Guantánamo Campaign, said: ‘There are still 112 prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay and we will continue to campaign for their release and the closure of the prison camp.’