Shaker Aamer rules out legal action over Guantanamo

Posted On: 
14th December 2015

The last British resident to be released from Guantanamo Bay, Shaker Aamer, has insisted he will not pursue legal action against the Government over his imprisonment.

The former inmate claimed that he had been subject to torture in his 13-year stint in Guantanamo, by methods including sleep deprivation.

Mr Aamer has also previously said that a British intelligence officer was present at the time he allegedly had his head banged against a wall at the US Bagram air base in Afghanistan.



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Despite reaffirming the allegation, he told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show that he would not be pursuing legal action and did not want to see anybody prosecuted over the case.

"I do not want to prosecute anybody. I do not want anybody to be asked about what his role [was] in the past. I just want people to tell the truth,” he said.

"I don't believe the court will bring justice because of what happened in the past."

Asked if he was certain a British intelligence officer was present at the time of the alleged torture, he replied: "I would say 80, 90%.

"I have no doubt he is an Englishman, because of the way he spoke, the way he is very careful, the way he was sitting far away, looking at me."

A Foreign Office spokesman sought to distance the Government from the allegations, saying: "The UK Government stands firmly against torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.

"We do not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone it for any purpose. Neither does the UK make use of any so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. 

"We have consistently made clear our absolute opposition to such behaviour and our determination to combat it wherever and whenever it occurs."

Alex Salmond yesterday called on Tony Blair and Jack Straw to "tell us exactly what they knew and when they knew it" about Mr Aamer's detention.

The former Scottish First Minister also suggested the Mr Aamer may have been held captive after twice being cleared for release to protect Mr Blair from political embarrassment.


Mr Aamer, a Saudi national with British residence, was released from Guantanamo in October.

He was held over claims he had led a Taliban unit but has never been charged or put on trial, despite being first imprisoned back in 2002.

The 48-year-old told the Mail on Sunday the years of pain were “washed away” when he saw his wife upon his return to the country.

Turning to radicalism in the UK, Mr Aamer said that targeting and killing civilians was not condoned by Islam and urged those who wish to conduct terrorist attacks to leave.

"How can you give yourself the right to be living here in this country, and living with the people and acting like you are a normal person, and then you just walk in the street and try to kill people?” he said.

"Even if there is a war you cannot kill just anybody, you cannot kill kids, you cannot kill chaplains, you cannot just go in the street and get a knife and start stabbing people.

"If you are that angry about this country, you can get the hell out."