British Guantanamo Bay inmate Shaker Aamer speaks from prison cell for first time on US TV show

Mr Aamer, who has been cleared for release yet is stuck in 'legal limbo', is seen begging for prisoners to be treated like human beings

The last British prisoner being held at Guantanamo Bay has spoken from his prison cell for the first time.

Shaker Aamer, who has been incarcerated at the US military prison since 2002, spoke to CBS's 60 Minutes show.

Shouting from his cell he said: “Tell the world the truth ... Please, we are tired. Either you leave us to die in peace - or either tell the world the truth. Open up the place. Let the world come and visit. Let the world hear what's happening.

“Please colonel, act with us like a human being, not like slaves.”

He added: “You cannot walk even half a metre without being chained. Is that a human being? That's the treatment of an animal...

“It is very sad what is happening in this place.”

Mr Aamer, one of 164 prisoners at Guantanamo, has been held for 11 years without charge and is accused of being a close associate of Osama bin Laden, which he denies.

He has been cleared for transfer by both the Bush and Obama administrations, according to Reprieve, the legal charity and human rights group which is representing him.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron raised Mr Aamer's case with President Barack Obama at a G8 summit and the British government has repeatedly stated that it wants him returned to the UK.

Despite having British residency and a British wife and four children living in Battersea, London, US authorities have repeatedly threatened to send him back to Saudi Arabia, his birthplace, against his wishes.

Clive Stafford Smith, his lawyer and Reprieve's director, told CBS that Mr Aamer has agreed to whatever conditions the British government want to put on him if he was released, “because he has nothing to hide”.

He said: “What I have said and what Shaker has said for years is that if you have got an allegations against him, put up or shut up.”

Commenting on why Mr Aamer is still being held despite being cleared to leave, he said: “I think it is a fascinating question and I would love a little more transparency.

“I wish someone official would give me an explanation and they won't. No one will say why they won't let him go.”

In a statement Mr Stafford Smith said: “CBS' show gives a very rare and very shocking glimpse inside Guantanamo Bay. Everyone in the prison - the guards and the men - is suffering horribly, day after day.

“Obama must fulfil his promise to close the prison and Shaker Aamer must come home to his family in the UK, which is what David Cameron has said he wants.”

Mr Aamer was detained in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2001 after he went to the country to carry out voluntary work for an Islamic charity, Reprieve said.

It is alleged that he was tortured at the Bagram Air Force base while being questioned by US forces and in February 2010 it emerged that the Metropolitan police was investigating allegations of MI5 complicity in his torture.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “Mr Aamer's case remains a high priority for the UK government and we continue to make clear to the US that we want him released and returned to the UK as a matter of urgency.

“The Prime Minister raised Mr Aamer's case with President Obama during the G8 in Northern Ireland in June. The Prime Minister later wrote to President Obama reaffirming the importance the UK places on the request for Mr Aamer's release.

“The Deputy Prime Minister went on to raise Mr Aamer's case with Vice-President Biden in September. We are confident that the US government understands the seriousness of the UK's request for Mr Aamer's release.

“Any decision regarding Mr Aamer's release ultimately remains in the hands of the United States government. We continue to monitor Mr Aamer's welfare through engagement with the US authorities.”

Additional reporting PA

News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice