Wednesday, February 24News For London

Former Guntanamo Bay detainees on IS and terrorism.

Screen Shot from Shaker Aamer interview on BBC news
Screen Shot from Shaker Aamer’s interview on BBC news

The last British resident held at Guantanamo bay denounced extremism, saying that extremists have no right to live in the UK.

Shaker Amer, who was released from Guantanamo bay last October spoke to the BBC, in his first interview saying that he is not planning on suing the British government.

British detainees at Guantanamo Bay

The United States Department of Defense held a total of nine British detainees at Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In addition to nine detainees who were citizens of other nations but have permanent residency status in the United Kingdom.

Moazzam Begg

Among them was Moazzam Begg, a British Pakistani who was detained in Guantanamo Bay for nearly three years after being arrested in Pakistan in 2002. He was then released without charge in 2005.

 Moazzam Begg, 22 March 2003, before he spoke at a meeting about civil liberties hosted by the Respect party in Manchester. Taken by JK the Unwise with a Olympus FE-120 under
Moazzam Begg, 22 March 2003, before he spoke at a meeting about civil liberties hosted by the Respect party in Manchester. Taken by JK the Unwise (c) under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

He talked at the University of East London during an Anti-Islamophobia event where he claimed at least 17 of the leaders of IS were held in a CIA-affiliated camp in Libya.

This is the reason why IS  dresses their victims in Orange like they were dressed in Guantanamo.

He remembers the atrocities took place during his time in detention, how inhumane it was and how dehumanising it could be.

Invasion of Iraq

He mentioned the case of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi who was a Libyan captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 after the fall of the Taliban.

Begg said that the information Al-libi gave under torture to Egyptian authorities was cited by the George W. Bush Administration in the months preceding the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as evidence of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

Al-Libi was then found dead in his cell in 2009.

“The devil is in the detail of the language people use to humanise what is totally inhumane,” he said.

He recalled some officials calling the CIA torture mechanisms — like waterboarding, rectal feeding and sleep deprivation- at Guantanamo “Enhanced Interrogation techniques”

He said that what happened in Guantanamo is the far end of the spectrum of the war on terrorism. “IS is a threat to which Paris is a great evidence and so is Syria and Iraq” He added.

Suing the British government for compensation

Unlike Aamer who said that he is not planning on suing the British government for compensation, Moazam Begg reached a financial settlement with the British Government in November 2010.

At the time, the British Government said there was no evidence that British officials participated directly in the abuse of prisoners.