11 Days Remaining

Wednesday 9th
posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain

Guantanamo Bay inmate diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder

Human rights activists urged the release of Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer yesterday as fears grow for his health.

Prisoner rights charity Reprieve issued an appeal for the immediate release of the last British person remaining at the US’s Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

Mr Aamer’s health deteriorated and an independent doctor’s report filed this week diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The length, uncertainty, and stress of Mr Aamer’s confinement has caused significant disruptions in his ability to function,” said forensic psychiatrist Dr Emily Keram.

“Mr Aamer requires psychiatric treatment, as well as reintegration into his family and society and minimisation of his re-exposure to trauma and reminders of trauma.”

The British resident — who was never officially charged — was cleared for release in 2007 but has been kept at Guantanamo since.

In response to the medical findings, the south Londoner’s legal team handed a motion to a Washington DC court for his immediate release.

“This desperate news about Shaker’s mental and physical state comes on top of twelve years of abuse,” said Reprieve founder Clive Stafford Smith, who is also Mr Aamer’s lawyer.

“There is no reason he should not have come home to his wife and kids when he was cleared, seven years ago.”

And he added: “How is it that anyone in his right mind can think that a torture victim should suffer even one more day of abuse?”

Speaking to the Star, Save Shaker Aamer campaign representative Joy Hurcombe expressed her frustration over the Home Office’s lack of action.

“We go from hope to dispair,” she said.

Last month Mr Aamer dropped his charges of torture against named MI6 agents.

In a statement he said: “How can you punish a lowly agent when the real fault lies with someone far above him, possibly even the foreign secretary of the time or the prime minister Tony Blair?”

Ms Hurcombe and her fellow Save Shaker Aamer activists hope that in government will be more predisposed to help with the detainee’s retrieval.