13 years in Gitmo: Cleared for release, no charges, but still being held

Shaker Aamer's gitmo file photo. Source: DOD

Shaker Aamer’s gitmo file photo.
Source: DOD

Washington, DC (Reprieve) – A cross-party delegation of MPs will next week hold talks in Washington D.C. to lobby for the return of the last remaining Briton in Guantanamo Bay, Shaker Aamer.

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and Conservatives David Davis (a former Shadow Home Secretary) and Andrew Mitchell (a former Chief Whip) will hold meetings with Senators and Obama administration officials.

Shaker Aamer, a 48 year old Londoner, has been detained at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. He has never been charged, never faced a trial and has been cleared for release under both the Bush and Obama administrations. His British wife and four British children live in London and it is long-stated British government policy that Shaker be returned home to the UK. In January, following talks between Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama, the White House said it would “prioritise” Mr Aamer’s case, but concerns were raised when, one month later, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that Mr Aamer’s case was not “on his desk.”

Kat Craig, legal director of international human rights charity Reprieve which represents Mr Aamer, said:

“This cross-party delegation of MPs demonstrates the depth of British support for Shaker Aamer’s return home to his family in London and the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It is an absolute disgrace that he has been held without charge or trial for over thirteen years despite being cleared for release twice. Shaker Aamer must come home at once and we hope that this delegation brings about that end.”