Gitmo designed to ‘destroy human beings’: Ex-inmate Shaker Aamer talks to RT

Shaker Aamer speaks as he is reunited with other detainees from Guantanamo outside the U.S. Embassy in London January 11, 2016. © Luke MacGregor
Guantanamo is run by psychologists with the sole purpose of destroying the human beings it holds, Shaker Aamer told RT in an exclusive interview. The US prison camp, from which he was released in October, is starting its 15th year of work.

“Guantanamo is being run by one concept: how to destroy a human being,” Aamer, who regained his freedom on October 30 of last year after being held at Gitmo without charge since 2002, said.

According to the 49-year-old, the most effective measure used by the prison authorities over the years has been to denigrate the Muslim faith, which is practiced by most Gitmo inmates.

“Guantanamo is being run by psychologists, by psychiatrists. They know nothing will affect us more than insulting our religion. Nothing will make us break like grabbing our Holy Koran and throw it in front of us or just opening it like that, you know, searching in them: ‘Oh, you know, you are hiding something,” he said.

Aamer blasted the term “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which is used by the US politicians to describe what is being done to the prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay.

“Let’s practice that enhanced techniques on you!” he said addressing “all these senators, all these congressmen.”

“Keeping a man for nine days not going to sleep or even lay down on the floor, the freezing cold floor… hog-tied [tying the person’s limbs together, rendering him immobile]… rectal-feeding people, which is truly is not feeding because we know why they are doing it. If that all is not torture – what’s torture?” the ex-detainee wondered.

According to Aamer, the prison authorities at the US-run prison, which is located on a bay in Cuba, deprived the inmates of the most basic necessities, claiming they could be used to commit suicide, after a series of such incidents were caused by harsh treatment.

He displayed his prison blanket, which he said he last saw back in June 2005 when “three brothers got killed. I say got killed even if they did it themselves.”

“After that they took all these blankets in the name of ‘they might use it to kill themselves.’ I can tell people: ‘Please, look at it. It’s brand new.’ It’s with the same fold, I didn’t even unfold it,” the former prisoner said. 

Aamer pointed out that the clothes which were given to him on his release from Gitmo had never belonged to him.

“It’s brand new clothes that’s been shoved in my bag to tell the world this is what he was wearing… And you can see the silliness: I wear size 11, and they shove the shoes that are size 8,” he said.

“Some brothers out there are freezing because of the air conditioning and they (prison authorities) cannot give this, but I get new things,” the ex-detainee added.

READ MORE: Saudi inmate sent home as Gitmo turns 14

Aamer, who used to reside in Britain, was captured by bounty hunters in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2001. The Saudi national was accused of being an associate of Osama Bin Laden and transferred to Guantanamo in 2002, but was never charged with any crime.

He was cleared for release in 2007, but the process of getting home took more than eight years.

READ MORE: Shaker Aamer torture claims: Amnesty calls for inquiry on Gitmo 14th anniversary

For a long time, Aamer was labeled the last British resident held in Guantanamo, with activists around the globe campaigning for him to be given his freedom.

Despite US President Barack Obama’s promise to close the detention camp back in 2009, over a 100 inmates remain at Guantanamo today. The prison in Cuba was established in 2002 to house captives taken in the “war on terror” and has hosted 779 inmates since.