Guantanamo Brit Shaker Aamer files tribunal complaint against UK intelligence services over torture and detention

September 25, 2013

A British resident detained in Guantanamo Bay has filed a complaint against the UK security services over their continuing involvement in his detention without charge or trial. 

Shaker Aamer, from South London, has brought a case to the secretive Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) over “The actions of the [UK] security services [which] have prevented [his] release due to defamatory statements that have no basis in honest fact.”

Mr Aamer’s complaint also concerns how UK security services interrogated him at Bagram prison in Afghanistan “despite the fact that they knew that [he] was being abused,” and “actively sanctioned or encouraged [his] illegal transfer from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay.

Although Mr Aamer has twice been cleared for release by the US Government itself, and David Cameron has personally asked Barack Obama that he be returned home to London, he remains in detention at Guantanamo – where he has never been tried or even been charged.

This has strengthened concerns set out by Mr Aamer and his lawyers at Reprieve that false information provided by British intelligence is leading to his ongoing detention at Guantanamo – in contradiction with the publicly-stated policy of the British Government. Mr Aamer has therefore brought his complaint to the IPT, which investigates complaints about the conduct of the UK’s intelligence agencies.  However, the IPT is also highly secretive and provides a one-sided process in which the citizen hears at best very little – and usually nothing at all – about the case put against them.

Commenting, Reprieve Legal Director, Kat Craig said:

“The US has cleared Shaker, and the British Government wants him home – so why is he still there?  All the evidence points to briefing against him by the UK intelligence services, who are terrified that his release will allow him to speak freely about the part they played in his torture and rendition.  In effect, our spies are undermining the aims of our democratically elected government.  The IPT will be worthless if it cannot put an end to this scandal.”


Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8166 /

2. The complaint filed by Mr Aamer with the IPT is available on request.