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Shaker Aamer 'dragged from prison cell up to eight times a day'

CAMPAIGNERS demanded yesterday the release of videos showing Britain’s last Guantanamo Bay inmate being forcibly dragged from his prison cell up to eight times a day by guards.

Prisoners’ rights campaign group Reprieve said the US authorities film prisoners being subjected to a violent procedure known as Forcible Cell Extraction (FCE) with teams of guards wearing riot gear.

Now prisoner Shaker Aamer’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, from legal action charity Reprieve, is calling on the British government to request to see video tapes of him being subjected to the procedure. He has written to Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Mr Aamer is the last British resident in Guantanamo Bay. He was imprisoned in 2002 and remains in custody even though he was cleared for release in 2007.

The US government was forced to admit in court last week that FCE incidents are videotaped by prison authorities.

The court case related to another Guantanamo prisoner Abu Wael Dhiab.

Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that the US authorities must hand over 34 video tapes of Mr Dhiab being “forcibly extracted and subjected to force feeding.” 

Mr Aamer has written to his legal team saying he was “forcibly extracted” up to eight times a day. On one occasion “they did not just force me down on the floor of the room. They apparently decided that they had to get me dirty, so they threw me down in the passageway.”

The tapes should be handed over “without delay for viewing by the government and by his legal team,” demanded Mr Stafford Smith.

“I’m sure you’ll agree that such tapes would provide a unique record of the suffering Shaker has endured … which experts now say poses a grave risk to his health and well-being,” he wrote.

He said: “What is this constant FCEing but a daily routine of torture? The British government has a duty to find out what is happening to a man whose British wife and children wait desperately for him in London. They must demand that the Obama administration reveal the video footage they have of Shaker’s torture, or they become complicit in the cover-up.”

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