‘Free Shaker Aamer’
MPs call on US to release Guantanamo Bay’s last Brit
For the past 13 years, Shaker Aamer has been held at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, and despite being told by his lawyers that he was set for release in 2007, he remains locked up without a single charge to his name.
Now, as the topic was once again brought to the Houses of Parliament, MPs voted unanimously in favour of the Brit’s release, describing his treatment as ‘inhuman’.
Aamer, a Saudi national married to a Briton and with children living in London, is the last British inmate still being held at the notorious prison despite never being charged with a crime.
Even Prime Minister David Cameron lobbied US President Barack Obama earlier this year for his release, with the American leader confirming a review of his case would be a priority.
However, opposition Labour lawmaker, John McDonnell, told a debate in parliament earlier this week that it was now time for ‘action’.
“The case of Shaker Aamer is one of the worst cases of a miscarriage of justice in the last three decades at least ... He has endured harsh, and brutal and inhuman treatment,” Mr McDonell said to the agreement of those in attendance.
“Now is the time for action not words ... his health has deteriorated significantly.”
Obama has pledged to close the dentention centre in the past, yet still faces obstacles from Congress, including some right-wing Republican senators calling for a freeze on the release of remaining detainees.
McDonnell said a delegation of MPs planned to head to Washington shortly to meet with US officials about the case.
According to rights group Amnesty International, Aamer moved to Britain in 1996 and was in Afghanistan doing voluntary work for an Islamic charity when he was captured by Afghan Northern Alliance forces in 2001 and handed to the US military.
He has been held at the Cuba site since 2002.