January 2, 2012
The family of the last Briton held in Guantanamo Bay, the extra-judicial US interrogation centre on Cuba, have spoken this weekend of their decade of torment as President Barack Obama appears set to perform “the biggest U-turn of his presidency” by keeping the prison open and signing indefinite detention without trial into law.
The family of Shaker Aamer – speaking as the 10th anniversary of the prison next week is expected to prompt worldwide protests – said his unlawful imprisonment had destroyed him and his family.
As a US presidential election year begins, President Obama is expected to renege on a 2009 promise to shut Guantanamo. Instead, he appears to be planning to keep it open permanently.
Mr Aamer, who has four children with his British wife, the youngest of whom he has never met, was captured by the US in Afghanistan in December 2001 and claims he was tortured before and during his time in Guantanamo. He said he was helping to build a school when he was seized; the US said he was fighting with al-Qa’ida.