Doctors call for return of Shaker Aamer
In 2006, many of us put pressure on the Government to take greater issue for the medical care of British citizens and residents being held in Guantanamo with a letter in the Times
As some of you know, I have been campaigning for the return of the last British resident from Guantanamo, Shaker Aamer, to London for the last 10 years. This weeks, Sunday Times suggests that he may return imminently, but it is important to keep the pressure up.
I am proposing to submit a letter to the Daily Mail (!)- who have been vigorously calling for the return of Shaker over last weeks. In discussion with the Mail, they are interested in the medical aspects which we have raised previously.
Would you be willing to add your name to an updated version of the 2006 letter.?
I will submit when have 20 or so names.
The recent US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme identified a number of potential war crimes, such as “rectal rehydration” and waterboarding, which are forms of torture.
Importantly there was no mention of any Briton in the report, such as Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantanamo and his pressing medical concerns. He has now been detained for over 13 years, and in April 2014, he had his first independent medical assessment that revealed that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, asthma, oedema and chronic urinary retention. We would add our names to those who in this newspaper have called for his return to the UK given his fragile medical condition. Further we would be happy to assist in his medical management should this be required.
In 2006, we tried to raise this issue with the Foreign Office Pro Bono medical panel- which can assist with medical advice in Britons held overseas. This request, to date, has been rejected, as the Foreign Office does not want to set a precedent for someone who is a British resident, not citizen.
We would point out that Shaker’s ongoing detention without trial is having an appalling effect not just on his health, but those of his family, especially his wife- all of whom are British citizens. This on its own is a clear breach of the Aamer family’s right to a family life and would warrant the assistance of this committee should the Foreign Office deem to do so.
Finally, we add our support of those, such as Amnesty, CAGE, Freedom from Torture and Reprieve, who have called for a UK judge led inquiry to the use of torture and interrogation in light of the SSCI report. Specifically we need to know what involvement did health care professionals have in the design, supervision and implementation in such interrogations.
The Doctors call for return of Shaker Aamer petition to UK doctors was written by Dr David Nicholl and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.