In light of recent reports that the final remaining British detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Shaker Aamer, is being subjected to physical and mental abuse, including sexual abuse, Sadiq Khan MP has called on Foreign Secretary William Hague MP, to raise the matter with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.
A report in the Independent newspaper on the 31st July claims that Mr Aamer had said to his lawyer in a declassified phone call that he still faces “forced cell extractions” on a daily basis. This is despite that fact that Mr Aamer, who has been held in the Cuban prison for more than 11 years, has never been charged with any offence.
Before being an MP, Sadiq was a human rights solicitor whose firm acted for some of the men held at Guantanamo Bay. Since becoming an MP, Sadiq has long campaigned on behalf of Shaker Aamer and his family for his safe return home to the UK and for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. Sadiq has lobbied both the Foreign Office and the Prime Minister on many occasions and attended demonstrations outside parliament. The case is also of great interest to many of his constituents, which include members of Mr Aamer’s family.
In April 2013, a petition calling for Shaker Aamer’s safe return to the UK received more than 100,000 signatures. As a result the issue was debated in Westminster Hall.
Sadiq attended the debate to show his support for Mr Aamer and his family and was mentioned numerous times during the debate as being one of the MPs that has consistently campaigned on behalf of Mr Aamer.
Sadiq Khan MP said,
“I remain extremely concerned for Mr Aamer’s welfare whilst he remains detained in Guantanamo Bay. These latest reports which come from him personally suggest that he is being mistreated on a daily basis”
“I hope that the Foreign Secretary will take these allegations of mistreatment seriously and bring Mr Aamer’s case to the forefront of the United States government’s mind so that we can begin to seek an end to his incarceration”.
“We must remember that Mr Aamer has remained in prison, away from his family, for 11 years – and all the while never being charged with an offence, let alone being allowed his day in court”.
“I will continue to push the Foreign Office to work with their US counterparts to ensure that there is a resolution to this case once and for all”.
You can read a copy of Sadiq's letter here.
You can also read more about Sadiq's work to support Shaker Aamer here.