Hooded anonymous holding the placard.
Shaker Aamer is a Saudi Arabian citizen and the last British resident
currently held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. He was
captured in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on 24 November 2001 and was brought
to Guantanamo on 14 February 2002, were he now has been held for 9
years, 10 months and 23 days.
According to documents published in the Guantanamo Bay files leak, the US military Joint Task Force Guantanamo believed in November 2007 that Aamer had led a unit of fighters in Afghanistan, including the Battle of Tora Bora, while his family was paid a stipend by Osama bin Laden. The file asserts past associations with Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui. Clive Stafford Smith a human rights lawyer said the leaked documents would not stand up in court. He pointed out that part of the evidence comes from an unreliable witness and that confessions Aamer made had been obtained through torture. Mr Aamer’s father-in-law, Saaed Ahmed Siddique, said: "All of these claims have no basis. If any of this was true he would be in a court now." The Bush administration acknowledged later that it had no evidence against Aamer.
Aamer has never been charged by the United States with any wrongdoing and has never received a trial. He has now been cleared for release by the United States for years, but remains in Guantanamo for reasons that are unclear. He has been described as a charismatic leader who spoke up and fought for the rights of fellow prisoners and some have speculated that this might be a reason for his continued detention. The UK government has been demanding his release for years and a growing number of people from all walks of life have started campaigning for him.
Mr Aamer's mental and physical health has been declining over the years, as he has participated in hunger strikes to protest detention condition and spent much of his time held in solitary confinement. After a visit in November 2011 Clive Stafford Smith said: "I do not think it is stretching matters to say that he is gradually dying in Guantanamo Bay".
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