The Kafkaesque censorship of lawyer-client discussions at Guantanamo Bay should send a stark warning to Britain over its plans to introduce secret evidence, legal action charity Reprieve said today.
The charity's director Clive Stafford Smith made the comment after returning from his most recent visit to the US prison to see his client Shaker Aamer.
Mr Aamer, a British resident, has been held without charge or trial in Guantanamo for 10 years despite having been cleared for release in 2007.
He has been brutally abused and tortured and kept in solitary confinement for long periods, where his health is said to have deteriorated dramatically.
Mr Stafford Smith is able to meet his client has to give his notes to US censors who decide which parts he can talk about.
He said: "I asked him (Mr Aamer) whether he was still being held in solitary confinement in Camp V, Echo Block, where he was transferred last year?
"What was Shaker's reply to me? I cannot tell you. It's still a 'state secret.'
"I asked him whether the US military is still beating him up pretty much every day. His answer? I cannot say.
"I asked him whether he was getting any medical care for his multiplicity of illnesses. His answer? I cannot say."
The US claims this is for its national security - the same reason the British government is giving for its plans for secret evidence in civil cases.
Mr Stafford Smith told the Star: "I would love to tell you about my conversation with Shaker in that awful prison, after 10 years of abuse.
"Sadly, many of the notes from my visit will be censored because the US government will decide, against all common sense, that they relate to 'national security.'
"This is a frightening vision of the future for the UK, should we adopt the government's green paper on justice and aecurity.
"If we are silly enough to give our government absolute power of censorship, you can bet it will be used to cover up its own mistakes and to bury terrible injustices like Shaker's."
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