Nine years without trial for Guantanamo Brit is "travesty of justice"
12:20pm Monday 14th February 2011 in News
The continued imprisonment of a father-of-four in Guantanamo Bay has been described as a “travesty of justice” on the ninth anniversary of his detention in the Cuban jail.
Shaker Aamer, who is from Saudi Arabia but lived in Battersea with his British wife and four children, has been held in confinement in the by the US since February 13, 2002.
He claims he was doing charity work when he was arrested in Afghanistan in August 2001, but the US believe he was working with the Taliban.
Despite US claims, Mr Aamer – who has never met the youngest of his four children - has never been charged with an offence or put on trial.
Amnesty International has campaigned for his release, and its supporters have sent 12,000 emails sent to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and UK MPs - asking them to raise the issue with the UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague.
The group’s UK’s director, Kate Allen, said: “It’s a total travesty of justice . . . it’s been nine years without charges, without a trial and, in many ways, without much hope for Shaker, and we are determined to see his basic human rights restored.
“Now there’s fresh hope for him and for his family in the UK. Thousands of people on both sides of the Atlantic have recently called on senior UK and US politicians to break the deadlock over his case.
“Currently all the signs point to heightened behind-the-scenes activity over Shaker's situation and it’s vital that we say to politicians ‘we won’t rest until his case is fairly resolved’.
“Given the time involved, the lengthy spells in solitary confinement and the torture allegedly used against him, Shaker Aamer’s plight has been one of the worst of all the detainees held at Guantanamo.
“There are strong humanitarian and human rights grounds for the UK government to step up its efforts to secure a fair trial or a safe release for Shaker.
“Meanwhile, if the forthcoming inquiry into UK involvement in torture is to do its job properly, it is likely to need to speak to Shaker. The easiest way to do that is get him out of the cruel limbo of Guantanamo.”
The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, which has demanded a timetable for his relase, held another vigil in Downing Streeat earlier this month.
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