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Shaker Aamer

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Will They Ever Let Us Back to Our Families?

Posted: 29/11/2013 11:52

Shaker relayed the contents of this blog post to his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith in an unclassified phone call

I have a very strong sense of family values, which makes my life in Guantánamo Bay a thousand times worse than it might be. I have four beautiful children who I have not seen for twelve years. My youngest, Faris, was born on February 14, 2002, which was the day I arrived in this terrible place. So I have never touched him, never even hugged him.

I believe that hugging kids is like a jar that you are filling with love. You need to hug them as much as you possibly can when they are young.

When I am in my cell I try to meditate. I try to imagine I am on a beach. In my imagination I go to the UK. As I circle around the sky above London, I look out for my house. Finally I locate it there in Battersea, and I swoop down to sit outside the window. There I sit, quietly watching my kids. Sometimes, I find myself talking to my wife. I feel as if it is real, and it gives me real solace. I want my family to know I am strong because they are strong. And always remember: no regrets, no regrets, no regrets.

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I worry for other people in this prison. I know that Prime Minister David Cameron has specifically asked President Barack Obama to let me come home to my family. If two of the most powerful countries in the world can't do it, what hope is there for other detainees?

I do not understand why they won't let me go, and nobody is willing to give me any kind of an explanation. I do not spend too much time looking for an apology for everything that has happened to me here. It is all political. They won't admit mistakes. It is all about covering up.

I know I will leave here one day, perhaps soon. I have long been cleared, for six years now. But what of the other men here? Again, I worry about the 80 people who have not been cleared more than I do about myself and the other 83 who have. Some might get a trial of sorts, but scores never will. They say it's because they can't use the evidence against them in court. Even if we believe this excuse, we might well ask why the evidence is inadmissible - is it because they tortured the men? If so, then a thousand years of experience tells us that the statements are certainly unreliable, and probably false.

But let's pretend for a moment that the torture statements made by these men are true: the US should look at the worst that each person is meant to have done, assume they did it even if they did not, and then ask whether they deserve more than twelve years of abuse in this terrible prison.

We might consider twelve years in a terrible prison, for an unidentified crime, imposed without a trial, as harsh under the most despotic regime. Surely, even for the 40 or 50 people who have not been cleared, but will never be tried, America has exacted its pound of flesh?

 

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