Shaker Aamer will not sue UK over Guantanamo imprisonment

British resident Shaker Aamer says he has no intention of taking legal action against UK over his Guantanamo imprisonment, however demands truth on country’s role in US rendition programme

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

This 2013 photo provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross shows Shaker Aamer

The last British resident to be released from Guantanamo Bay after more than 13 years of imprisonment, Shaker Aamer, stated on Monday that he does not intend to take a legal action against the United Kingdom for his time spent in the US prison camp.

"I do not want to prosecute anybody... I don't believe that the court will solve this problem," Aamer told the BBC in an interview.

Aamer, who is originally from Saudi Arabia, was finally released on October 30.

Aamer said that a British intelligence officer was present at the time he was beaten by US interrogators in Afghanistan before his transfer to Guantanamo.

However, he added that the officer only witnessed the incident without participating or attempting to end the mistreatment.

He said that he is sure about the officer's nationality saying “I have no doubt he was an Englishman… The way he spoke to me, the questions he asked.”

"I just want people to tell the truth, like I'm doing now," he added.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Aamer was seized by bounty hunters in Afghanistan, then handed over to US forces late in 2001. Two months later, he was taken to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba and detained there without a trial.

Aamer was cleared for release twice since 2007 but was not been returned to UK despite diplomatic efforts.

In 2013, American and the British diplomats reached an agreement for the return of Aamer, but he was not released. The UK continued diplomatic efforts until his eventual release.

The chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Dominic Grieve, said he hoped Aamer would take part in an inquiry into detainee treatment and rendition.

"It would be immensely helpful to us if both Shaker Aamer but also the other detainees were to help us," he told the BBC.

In the past, several other people held in Guantanamo have blamed Britain for allegedly cooperating with the US on a programme that allows detainees to be tortured.

Aamer emphasised that the treatment that the detainees faced at Guantanamo was a "war crime" as they had been tortured being forced to drink sewage water, shackled to the floor in sub-zero temperatures and deprived of sleep.

During his presidential campaign and throughout his term in office, US President Barack Obama has vowed several times to close Guantanamo Bay.

The administration has increased efforts toward that end, transferring Guantanamo detainees to their home countries or to third countries, but process has been stalled by the Republican controlled US Congress.

There are currently 107 detainees, including almost 50 who are cleared for release, left in Guantanamo.

TRTWorld and agencies