Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Shaker Aamer

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

US government to force-feed hunger strikers at  Guantánamo Bay during Ramadan

The US government has refused to stop force-feeding detainees on hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay during the holy month of Ramadan.

There are 166 detainees at Guantanamo, 106 of them are on hunger strike.

Of those, 45 of them are being fed through tubes directly into the stomach, according to the court papers.

In its court filing, the US Department of Justice also denied claims that it was giving the drug Reglan to the detainees.

In court papers rejecting a petition by four of more than 100 detainees said to be refusing food, the US said the feedings provided “essential nutritional and medical care” and would not interfere with religious observance of Ramadan, which begins on Monday.

 published from New York in the guardian.co.uk this July 3, 2013

Observant Muslims fast daily from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.

Lawyers for President Obama also said that the “public interest lies with maintaining the status quo“.

Last month, Obama gave a speech in which he promised to work towards closing the base, and to allow the release of many of the 86 prisoners held there who have been cleared for transfer.

Obama described the camp as a moral problem for the nation that had to be solved.

The feeding of detainees, via nasogastric tube, will be carried out by the facility “before dusk and after sunset in order to accommodate their religious practices”, they said, “absent any unforeseen emergency or operational issues”.

Colonel Greg Julian, director of public affairs for US southern command,  said: “We do not force-feed observant Muslims during daylight hours during Ramadan. These policies have been in place for years, and are consistent with our mission to safely detain while supporting the religious practices of those in US custody. If told to do differently, we will do so.”

Government lawyers said that enteral or force feeding is authorized by federal regulations when a prisoner’s life or permanent health is in danger, and is related to “preserving order security and discipline within the detention facility“, according to court documents in the case.

US government lawyers also argued that the detainees bringing the case, Shaker Aamer, Nabil Hadjarab, Ahmed Belbacha and Abu Wa’el Dhiab, are not “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and are therefore not protected under it.

A group of detainees began a hunger strike in February this year, in protest at their detention. Some have been detained without trial for more than a decade.

It also highlights Obama’s failure to deliver a 2008 campaign pledge to close the camp.

Aamar, who has spent 11 years without trial at the camp, despite being twice cleared for release, recently spoke of increasingly brutal tactics being used in an attempt to break the strike.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the US, reiterated its call on Monday for the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to stop.

Lawyers for the detainees described the tube feeding as “barbaric” and hit out at the failure of the US government to provide a specific guarantee that no feeding would happen during the day.

Cori Crider, counsel for the men and strategy director at Reprieve, said: “These are more weasel words from the Obama administration – they say they have ‘no plans’ to force-feed during the day in Ramadan, but give no guarantees. Meanwhile, on the eve of Independence Day, they ride rough-shod over the fundamental right of people to choose what goes into their bodies. ”

Jon Eisenberg, US counsel for the men, said: “The Obama administration argues here that ‘the public interest lies with maintaining the status quo’. The status quo is that these men are being held indefinitely without any sort of trial, even though they were cleared for release years ago.”

Guantanamo

Government lawyers said that enteral or force feeding is authorised by federal regulations. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

“Consider the irony of the Obama administration arguing here that the Guantánamo Bay detainees are not ‘persons’ within the scope of US law guaranteeing religious freedom, in a post-Citizens United world where even corporations are endowed with legal personhood.”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Blog Stats

  • 1,426,597 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 774 other followers

%d bloggers like this: