Working as an Arabic translator in Britain, he went abroad to earn more, and performed charity work in Afghanistan where, post-9/11, an Afghan family kidnapped him, sold him to the Northern Alliance, who turned him over to Americans for bounty.
He was badly abused, taken to Bagram Airbase, starved for nine days, horrifically treated, then moved to Kandahar, beaten, and deprived of sleep. Two British agents visited him, knew he was innocent, witnessed his torture, and didn't help.
After transfer to Guantanamo, torture and abuse continued for another four years. "The complicity of the British government in Aamer's situation is undeniable...."
Yet he was respected for being kind and leading others in a hunger strike to stop horrific, abusive treatment. It took its toll, reflected in his own words, saying:
"I am dying here every day, mentally and physically. This is happening to all of us. We have been ignored, locked up in the middle of the ocean for many years....I have many problems from the filthy yellow water....I have lung problems from the chemicals they spread all over the floor....I am already arthritic at 40 because I sleep on a steel bed, and they use freezing air conditioning as part of the interrogation process. I have ruined eyes from the permanent, 24-hour fluorescent lights. I have tinnitus in my ears from the perpetual noise....I have ulcers and almost permanent constipation from the food. I have been made paranoid, so I can trust nobody, not even my lawyer. I was over 250 lbs. I dropped to 130 lbs in the hunger strike."
On February 19, 2010, the London Guardian's Adam Gabbatt headlined his article, "Shaker Aamer: last British resident held in Guantanamo Bay."
Now aged 42, he's a former Londoner with a British wife and four children, in US custody since 2001 after traveling to Kabul to do charity work in June. In December 2007, his release was thought imminent, but he's still incarcerated. After leading a 2005 hunger strike, he was isolated in a six by eight foot cell where he remains, innocent, abused, and guilty of being Muslim in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Tarek Dergoul - A British Citizen