Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 8th, 2013

Last Briton in Guantanamo Bay Shaker Aamer: “Guards are sexually assaulting me…”

Shaker 3amer, on hunger strike, and being detained by US for 11 years, tells of brutal daily cell searches

Mr Aamer’s lawyer in the US, Clive Stafford Smith, said: “Surely the US cannot think they can render him involuntarily for further abuse in Saudi Arabia, never to see his British wife and kids, and never to give evidence against his torturers in the ongoing criminal investigation by the Met Police?”

“They flip me over for  the search. Mostly, that’s just an assault, sometimes a sexual assault”

We call the searches the ‘Gitmo Massage’

Paul Cahalan  published in The Independent this July 31, 2013:

The FCE (Forcible Cell Extraction team) are still using the Darth Vader uniforms after all these years. They use some female FCE members now. They bear down on my cell – stomp! Stomp! STOMP!

“239!” shouts the WC [Watch Commander]. I have heard these words in my sleep. “239! Lay down on your stomach! Your hands behind your back! Cross your legs! DO NOT RESIST THE TEAM!”

Comes the translator. He says the same in Arabic, in a thin, reedy, whiny voice. Then comes the front guy in the FCE team, shouting. “I see the detainee! He’s laying on his back! He’s in the middle of the pen! He doesn’t have a weapon! The floor is dry! The detainee is dry!” Always the same words, rote.

On this occasion, it is about my  on-going protest. I won’t come in from the rec cage without being forced to. I have said what I want to do: just sit there for a week, doing nothing, just sitting.

It’s about as non-violent, non-problematic protest as you could imagine, but they won’t let me do it.

Ultimately, it’s all about control, and if they feel they are not always in control, then that’s a threat to national security, a threat to the thousands of soldiers with their M16s at Guantánamo.

I refuse to do what they tell me, even though I know I am about to get beaten up. Sometimes, you just have to make a stand, however pointless that stand might seem to be.

The front guard is called FCE-1. Vooom! He runs at my head. FCE-2 through FCE-5 take their position, one on each arm, one on each leg. FCE-6 is back up.

The “Head” guy is the worst. He is meant to “protect” your head, but actually he is grabbing pressure points to subdue you.

If I shout, he pushes the pressure points to shut me up.

They pin me down.

“Leg FCE!” comes the shout and they shackle my legs.

“Arm FCE!” and they shackle my arms. They might use steel or plastic shackles, though it’s mostly plastic.

Sometimes they get the shackles  on backwards. I shout at the Watch Commander and the Corpsman, who are observing all this, as it’s painful. The Head man squeezes my neck. “Stop resisting!” he shouts.

“Team! Prepare to search!” They flip me over for the search. Mostly, that’s just an assault, sometimes a sexual assault. We call it the Gitmo massage. There is meant to be a board, like a wooden stretcher, and they are meant to roll me on. But now they don’t have them. Now they carry me like a sack of potatoes, which is much harder on the guards, and really painful for me.

“Team!” shouts FCE-6. “Push the detainee towards me!” They push me like a potato sack.

Pat! Pat! Pat! More Gitmo massage.

“Team! Prepare to lift!” They are meant to do a fireman’s lift, but they actually seize an arm or a leg and just yank. You are on your side, so one of them tends to be doing a half-nelson on me, in handcuffs. It’s like the Spanish Inquisition torture Strappado — you feel as if your shoulder is being dislocated.

FCE-6 has my head now. He is walking backwards, directing the others. “Watch the stairs! Step! Step! Step!” Up six steps; down six steps; through ten doors.

“Watch Commander! Watch Commander!” I shout. “Look at my hand! It’s going to be broken!”

If I try to move my hand, it’s “Stop Resisting! Stop Resisting!”

They get me to my cell. It’s been 150 metres. There’s a rec cage three metres from my cell, but they don’t let me use that one. They know then I would make them FCE me every time, as it wouldn’t hurt so much. So they take me 150 metres, through ten doors.

“Team! Halt!”

“Team! Prepare to lower! Team! Lower!” They are all in touching distance of each other, but they have to shout. They put me on the cold concrete floor on my face.

“Key in!” says FCE-6.

“Leg’s unsecure!”

“Key to Hands!”

“Key in!”

“Hands unsecure!”

“Key out! Leg shackles out! Hand shackles out!”

I am on my stomach. The Pig has his hands pushing down on my back. My legs are crossed and pressed up towards my lower back.

The Pig is 270lb, and there are 600 more pounds shoving him from behind, doggy style.

“239! Stay on the floor! DO NOT GET UP! Do not resist the Team! Stay down until we close the door!”

They go out one at a time. One of them falls over backwards. It seems rather comical. I lie still on the floor, because I know what is coming next. If you stay still, they come back in.

“239! Do you need medical attention! Do you need Tylenol?”

“You fool!” I reply. “You were meant to prevent me from getting hurt. And now you’re telling me I can have a Tylenol.”

“239 seems responsive!” he says.

Then I start singing. Today, it will be “Get up! Stand up!” by Bob Marley. Last time it was “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics.

Shaker Aamer, July 26, 2013

Related articles

Father dragged off by Israelis for lack of drinking water:  5 year-old Khaled screaming “baba, baba!”

It was the hottest week of the year. All Fadel Jaber wanted was some water for his family. But Fadel lives in the occupied West Bank, where the Israeli government has redirected water pipes to provide swimming pools for Jewish settlers and empty faucets for Palestinians like Fadel.

Alice Jay of Avaaz.org posted this Auguat 6, 2013:

When the Israeli forces dragged Fadel off for taking water, his heartbroken 5-year-old son Khaled could be heard screaming “baba, baba!” as his dad was torn away.

This is daily life for Palestinians living under the brutal fist of martial law where their land and water has been stolen by settlers and they have no basic human rights.

After years of violence and hopelessness, a movement is growing in Palestine — a nonviolent resistance seeking the same thing that all Israelis already have: freedom, dignity and a state of their own.

The images of 5-year-old Khaled screaming out for his father as the Israeli security forces dragged him off are hard to look at.

This is daily life for Palestinians living in the segregated, military-controlled West Bank.
For years, the media has focused on Palestinian militants, and to this day, extremists on both sides are pushing peace further out of reach.

But what’s lost in all that vitriol are the loving families like Fadel’s that just want a normal life. Now, those families are stepping forward, leading peaceful marches, organizing sit-ins, and working with Israeli activists to seek justice and freedom.

In response, the Israeli military has thrown them in jail, beaten up organizers, and ripped children from their beds.

The kinds of pressures the US is exercising on apartheid Israel?

هيدي  اللي بيحكولها "ضغوط أمريكية على الجانب الاسرائيلي !!"
هيدي اللي بيحكولها “ضغوط أمريكية على الجانب الاسرائيلي !!”

Days ago, I went to the West Bank to meet with these brave, peaceful people. When I proposed that our community could come to their aid, their eyes lit up. They need funds for lawyers when they are jailed on spurious charges, cameras to document abuses, training in media skills and nonviolent tactics, and campaigners to take this local protest global. These families are the real hope.

This occupation has gone on for too long and for too long the resolution of this conflict has been controlled by extremists on both sides. But today, there are a few things most people agree on:

first, both the Israelis and the Palestinians should each be entitled to a state; and

second, the treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories violates every sense of justice we have, from international law to basic common sense.

Even hard-line retired Israeli national security officials agree.
The current Israeli government is only making things worse: While they pay lip service to peace talks and a two-state solution, they expand more settlements in the West Bank, making a two-state solution permanently impossible.

And the Israeli military subjects Palestinians in the occupied territories to a whole different set of laws than the Jewish settlers who occupy those lands, even throwing children into prison for months at a time.
The best hope for ending this injustice and finally reaching peace is this peaceful resistance movement. Here are a few of the ways we can support them:

  • Support life-saving legal aid to help nonviolent leaders defend themselves from trumped up charges and kangaroo military courts;
  • Bring in civil disobedience experts from other movements to share strategies and tactics with communities across the West Bank;
  • Provide media equipment and trainings to leaders so they can both document abuses and get the word out to the world about this hopeful, inspiring movement;
  • Hire top-notch campaigners on the ground to provide ongoing support to this movement, scale actions across the West Bank, and engage our global community to take this movement from local to global;
  • Livestream their nonviolent actions on our site and organise a global day of action across the world.

In our history we have seen how nonviolent movements have freed peoples across the world — Gandhi’s movement in India, Dr. King’s movement in the US, and Mandela’s movement in South Africa. We know that it can work, and indeed in this case it’s our only hope.

Let’s give this inspiring movement the global solidarity it needs to succeed.

If enough of us pledge €4 now,  we can boost the peaceful movement over the extremist ones and give Khaled a future worthy of his father’s dreams. Avaaz will only process the pledges if we get enough to make a real difference:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/palestine_rpr_enndc/?bFAfecb&v=27709

The Avaaz community has been unwavering in its support for freedom, justice and conflict resolution across the world.

Today, one of the most virulent bastions of injustice on the planet is the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian lands. But even there, hope springs. And together, we can be a part of the generation that brings freedom and peace to two peoples, betrayed so often by governments, both of whom so desperately need it.

Let’s show what our community can do. With hope and determination,

MORE INFORMATION

Video / Palestinian boy upset by father’s arrest garners international media attention (Haaretz) http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/video-palestinian-boy-upset-by-father-s-arrest-garners-international-media-attention-1.306155
When Montgomery comes to Nabi Saleh (Foreign Policy) http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/04/26/when_montgomery_comes_to_nabi_saleh
The Rise of Palestinian Non-Violence: A Conversation with Mustafa Barghouti (Daily Beast) http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/07/the-rise-of-palestinian-non-violent-resistance-a-conversation-with-mustafa-barghouti.html
Israel in Peril (New York Review of Books) http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/jun/07/israel-in-peril/
‘Drip, Jordan’: Water supply as a focal point of occupation (Harper’s Magazine) http://harpers.org/archive/2011/12/drip-jordan/
Is this where the third intifada will start? (New York Times) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/magazine/is-this-where-the-third-intifada-will-start.html?ref=magazine&pagewanted=all&_r=0
For West Bank protesters, legal knowledge is power (+972 Magazine) http://972mag.com/for-west-bank-protesters-legal-knowledge-is-power/71412/
The West Bank’s 2012: The Year of the Israeli Settlement (TIME) http://world.time.com/2012/12/31/the-west-banks-2012-the-year-of-the-israeli-settlement/



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August 2013
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