“THE POLICE REPORT SHOULD TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SHAKER AAMER”
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SAVE SHAKER AAMER CAMPAIGN                                                                                          
The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (SSAC) will hold a noisy protest outside New Scotland Yard on Thursday August 15th from 1pm to 3pm. SSAC will also deliver a letter to the Commissioner of Police Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The protest is to draw attention to the lack of information from the Metropolitan Police following their investigation into Shaker Aamer’s allegations that he was tortured in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002 in the presence of British intelligence Officers. Three years ago, the Director of Public Prosecutions asked New Scotland Yard to report on these allegations. SSAC believes that the investigation was intentionally delayed   to prevent public knowledge of wrong-doing by Government secret agents. Eventually, earlier this year, the Metropolitan Police interviewed Shaker Aamer in Guantanamo. They were there for three days and took 120 pages of notes. Since then, there has been silence.                                                                    
 
However, there is already independent evidence to support Shaker Aamer’s allegations. In 2009, the High Court ruled that Shaker’s lawyers should have access to documents held by the Government. Lord Justice Sullivan   stated that, “If this information is to be of any use, it has to be put in the client’s hands as soon as possible.” He said that the documents proved that UK agents were present on at least two occasions when Shaker was subjected to torture in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002. The papers were withheld from Shaker and his lawyers on the grounds that disclosure would endanger national security. We call for this vital evidence to be made public. The only danger is to those who are trying to hide the truth.                                                
 
The Metropolitan Police have made their investigation. Their report should be made public.  However, we fear that it will be another whitewash and that it will state that there is no evidence of complicity in torture. This has happened before with similar investigations by the Metropolitan Police. This is not acceptable. We know that this report will never be made public. It will be read only by the Prime Minister and Government officials. Its conclusions can never be challenged. Nobody will be made accountable for complicity in torture. But secrecy will make it worthless. If the report told the truth, it would help Shaker in his desperate plea to come home. We are now afraid that Shaker may be forcibly transferred to Saudi Arabia, the most repressive country on the planet. Shaker’s home is in the UK with his wife and family. The Government has accepted his right to return as a legal long-term UK resident. The Government should demand Shaker’s immediate release and return to the UK from over eleven years of torture and abuse and unlawful imprisonment in Guantanamo. 
 
The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign   07756493877/ 07919 556850
 

10.8.2013                                                                                                            
         
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe,
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police,                                                          
New Scotland Yard,                                                                                                      
Broadway, London SW1H 0RG

Dear Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe,                                                                                                
 
We are writing to you to regarding your investigation into the allegations of complicity in torture by British Intelligence officials made by British resident Shaker Aamer. He has alleged that UK agents were present when he was tortured and subjected to coercive interrogations by the US in Afghanistan in 2001/2 and that MI5 and MI6 officials have also interrogated him in Guantanamo. They were aware that he was subjected to torture and abuse in Guantanamo.                                                                                                                      I
n 2010, The Metropolitan Police Force was instructed to investigate these allegations. We wrote to you several times to express our concern that there was a delay of over three years before the investigation took place. We received no replies to our letters.                                                                                                                            
Earlier this year, Shaker Aamer was interviewed, over a period of three days, by members of your force. His testimony covered 120 pages. We were shocked that Shaker was interviewed in Guantanamo and we wrote to you regarding our fears that he would be beaten by the US guards following these interviews.                    
 
We asked why he had not been released and returned to the UK and interviewed here, where he would be able to speak freely and without fear of reprisal.                
 
Shaker has told his lawyer that he is assaulted every day by the ERF (Emergency Reaction Force).                                                                                                                                  
We are aware that, in Dec 2009, in the High Court, Lord Justice Sullivan and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones stated that the UK held documents that contained evidence that British Intelligence Officers were present on at least two occasions when Shaker Aamer was tortured in the custody of the US in Afghanistan that the officers did not assist him. The High Court ruled that these papers should be made available to Shaker’s US lawyers as a matter of urgency. Lord Justice Sullivan stated, “If this information is to be of any use, it has to be put in the client’s hands as soon as possible.”                                                                                                
The Government blocked disclosure to protect the identity of the UK agents but did not deny that the papers contained evidence revealing US abuse of Shaker Aamer. The papers were not made available to Shaker Aamer or to his US lawyers.  

We believe that there is evidence that the UK agents were complicit in the torture of Shaker Aamer. Complicity in torture, is a crime that violates all international laws. Those who authorised it should be made accountable. There should be full disclosure to discover the truth.                                                                                                  
We have some specific questions and we would welcome your response.                            
Were these vital papers made available to the Metropolitan Police?                                      
Why have they been withheld from Shaker Aamer and his lawyers?                                        
Have you made your report to the Government?                                                            
Will your report be made available to Shaker and his lawyers?                                                                     Have you reported that the British Intelligence agents have a case to answer? If not, why not?               Did your officers report on the state of Shaker’s health and his years of harsh treatment despite having been cleared for transfer since 2007?                                    
Have you recommended that British Resident Shaker Aamer should be released and returned to the UK? If not, why not?                                                                                                      

We are dismayed at all this secrecy and lack of justice. Shaker has been locked up for over eleven years without charge or trial. There is evidence known to the Government that could prove that he was tortured, which he has not been allowed to see. Your police force has conducted an investigation and then there is silence. We are concerned that your report will be a whitewash of the truth and all the allegations will be set aside.                                                                                                  

Your investigation should help to shine a light on the truth but we fear it might just be another cover-up to protect the Government and its intelligence agents from the embarrassment of the truth. We may not even be told if the report has been completed. It all looks like another denial of justice to Shaker Aamer.                                                                                                                          
 
You may be aware that Shaker has been threatened with transfer against his will to Saudi Arabia, a country he fled from over 30 years ago. There he faces prison and more cruel torture. If your report has revealed that Shaker was tortured in Afghanistan and unlawfully held for over eleven years to silence him, it would be a terrible travesty of justice if Shaker is forcibly transferred to Saudi Arabia.                      
We understand that the UK Secret Services would welcome it. Shaker would be silenced. They would never have to face disclosure of their actions.                                                                                    
 
The fact that there has been an investigation by the Metropolitan Police, should prove that Shaker Aamer has been acknowledged to be a permanent UK legal resident. He should not face transportation to Saudi Arabia. The Foreign and Commonwealth Reports state that Saudi Arabia is known for human rights abuse. The UK Government must prevent Shaker’s forced rendition to Saudi Arabia by demanding Shaker Aamer’s immediate return to his home and family in the UK.                                                                                             
We ask you to use your position and knowledge of this case to support our demand that Shaker Aamer is released and returned to the UK.                                                              
 
We look forward to your response to our concerns.                          
                                                     
Yours sincerely,                                                                                                        
 
Joy Hurcombe, Chair of the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (07919556850)                                              Ray Silk, Secretary of the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (07756493877)