‘They bang your head on a wall – then give you a hot meal’


SHAKER Aamer, the last British resident detained at Guantanamo Bay, has spoken out about his treatment at detention centres in the US and Afghanistan, claiming he was tortured in the presence of British soldiers and MI5 agents.

Aamer has been held at Guantanamo for 13 years without trial. His lawyers claim the extended detention without charge is to prevent him from speaking out about his ordeal. Now newly released transcripts reveal the complicity of British officers in the CIA torture programme.

Aamer said: ‘I was not a human being any more. I meant nothing to them. I lost my dignity, my pride.

‘I had to take off my underwear and hand it to them. I had sleep deprivation for 11 days. That made me crazy. They poured cold water over me. They kept me standing for 20 hours a day. I had to hold my hands and arms out.

‘All of the statements I made at Bagram were during the sleep deprivation. I would have said anything. I told them, “I will tell you I am Bin Laden if you want me to”,’ he said. Aamer also told his doctor how he was hurled against the wall of an interrogation chamber as a British officer looked on.

‘They do that until you are shivering, until they have broken you, until your mind is completely empty. You feel like you’re not real any more. Like it’s a dream.

‘And now the worst part comes. They treat you with kindness. It destroys you completely. Your thinking is paralysed. Your feeling is paralysed. And the interrogator says, “I am trying to help you”.

‘You don’t know what to love and what to hate because it’s all happening at the same time. They bang your head on the wall and then they give you a hot meal.’