Rashida Ntotela | 05 Rabi ul Awwal 1437/17 December 2015

Abducted and sold for a bounty to the US, Shaker Aamer endured a pain like no other in the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. 14 years later, he was finally returned home to the UK.He is now recovering from his ordeal, rebuilding his life.

“We are happy to have him back,”said sister Yvonne Ridley, member of the Scottish National Party and vice chair of the European League.

Yvonne gave Cii Radio a firsthand account of Shaker’s release, and occasionally paid tribute to Shaker’s demeanour, as she had the privilege to personally engage with both him and his family.

This was the first time that we have obtained an eye witness account, from someone who has actually been the subject of an interrogation of this nature, Yvonne said.

Now that he is a free man, he is using his voice for a better cause, she conveyed, and it is reaching Muslims and non Muslims alike.

She related an incident which Shaker disclosed in great detail about an agent known by the name ‘John’-who in turn witnessed and was present during Shaker’s torturous days at Guantanamo.

What is truly amazing is that Shaker exhibited no sense of bitterness or revenge towards this man who wronged him greatly, she said.

He has come to attain such an enormous sense of wisdom, she said – “he is an incredibly humble person.”

She believes that Shaker has brought men of influence to a common cause, which is justice.

The Intelligence community has to keep close company with Aamer, Yvonne suggested, intimating that this was not for reasons that he might become radicalised, but instead to seek his advice.

With his background he could easily occupy a position of influence in the immediate and wider Muslim community in Britain, Yvonne professed.


“There were tears in his eyes and he was unable to speak at one point…”

Yvonne demonstrated how Shaker responded upon meeting his family for the first time after 14 years – it was an extremely emotional event, she said.

When he was asked about it by the press, he expressed that suddenly, he found himself in a room with his 4 children, and he was a complete stranger to them.

He reached out to hug them, and called out to the tallest boy whom he assumed was the eldest, only to discover that the boy is actually his youngest, that he has never seen, Yvonne narrated.

He is now at liberty and freedom to do, eat, pray and speak his mind-things we take for granted, Yvonne said.

Shaker relives the agony of torture

In terms of his physical appearance, Yvonne said that Shaker is half the man that he was in size.

He will have to acclimatise to the lifestyle and routine that was stolen and denied to him.

“Alhamdulillah he is recovering with each day, his wife is a strong woman and his family is absolutely incredible,” Yvonne said.

Yvonne took a moment to thank the listeners who lobbied for Shaker Aamer’s release and supported the campaign in whatever form.

“You have freed a man who has suffered great injustices “she said, “and for that we should stand proud.”

LISTEN to Shaker Aamer’s detailed interview about his ordeal, conducted with the BBC HERE