Reprieve: Ahmed Ould Abd al-Aziz was released from GITMO, Shaker Aamer wasn’t

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Reprieve +44 (0) 207 553 8140
For immediate release: Thurs Oct 29, 2015

Cleared Mauritanian detainee released from Guantanamo Bay

Ahmed Ould Abd al-Aziz has been released from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay to his native Mauritania.

Aziz, a 45 year old client of international human rights NGO Reprieve, had been detained without charge or trial at the prison since 2002. He was cleared for release – a process involving unanimous agreement by six US Federal Agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and Departments of State and Defense – in 2009.

Mr Aziz will return to his family in Mauritania, where he will work at his brother-in-law’s newspaper. There are now 113 men still detained at the US prison, 53 of whom have been cleared for release.

Mr Aziz’s release comes as the UK awaits the return of Shaker Aamer, who has been cleared for release from Guantanamo since 2007 but remains detained. Notification of the US’ intention to release Shaker, back to his British wife and their four children in the UK, was handed to Congress over 30 days ago.

Clive Stafford Smith, Mr Aziz’s US attorney and Reprieve’s Director, said: “While it’s great that Ahmed is home with his family, it’s 14 years late, and long after he was cleared. His release was only delayed because he, an innocent man, routinely protested his mistreatment. Why is it that we as a nation do not have the courage to simply say sorry to Ahmed, his wife and his son?[emphasis added]
 
ENDS

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization with offices in London and New York City. For more information, contact Reprieve’s press office:

UK: clemency [dot] wells [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140
US: katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064

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The Miami Herald covered Ahmed Ould Abd al-Aziz’s release from Guantánamo (and the failure to Shaker Aamer), noting this:

The transfer leaves just one Mauritanian at the prison — Mohamedou Ould Slahi, 44. Slahi is among Guantánamo’s best known, current captives as the author of “Guantánamo Diary,” now published in 20 countries, about his cruel treatment by interrogators seeking to tie him to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

It astonishes me that after more than a decade of following the US’s imperialistic, could-hardly-be-bloodier-or-more-expensive lead on the fictional “War on Terror” that the UK shows no sign of opting out. Instead, it is becoming as whiny, irrational and un-democratic as we are, per another Reprieve release, below … as short as it is scary.

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Reprieve +44 (0) 207 553 8140
For immediate release: Thurs Oct 29, 2015

MPs right to push for answers over Government’s kill policy
 
Commenting on the announcement by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) that it is to examine the Government’s new kill policy, under which the Prime Minister is able to carry out ‘targeted killings’ around the world, often using drone aircraft, Kat Craig, legal director at international human rights charity Reprieve said:
 
The Prime Minister has given himself sweeping powers to kill anyone, anywhere in the world, in secret and without due process.  This is a huge shift in British policy and the public deserves to know how far these powers go and what, if any, safeguards are in place.  These are vital questions which the Government has so far repeatedly dodged without explanation or justification, and the Committee is right to push for answers.  Ministers must be more open with the Human Rights Committee than they have been so far.  The use of deadly force is one of the most potent powers the government has, and it must be open to democratic scrutiny.” [emphasis added]
 
ENDS

Notes to editors
 
1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization with offices in London and New York City. For more information, contact Reprieve’s press office:

UK: donald[dot] campbell [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140
US: katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064

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About Susan Chandler

Now-disabled interior/exterior designer dragged into battling conviction corruption from its periphery in a third personal battle with civil public corruption.
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