This Valentine's Day marks a different kind of anniversary for British resident Shaker Aamer. On February 14th, 2002 Aamer was first brought into detention Guantánamo Bay and though he has been cleared to return home, he remains detained, eleven years later.
Despite this and the British government's repeated requests to release him, Shaker remains at Guantánamo. Zeke Johnson, Director of Security with Human Rights Campaign at Amnesty International and author of "A Guantanamo Valentine to President Obama," says this case "underscores everything that's wrong with Guantanamo and everything that's wrong with indefinite detention."
"The U.S. government is basically saying to the world that it can do whatever it wants to whoever it wants and there's nothing we can do about it," Johnson said. "The question here is do we want a U.S. government that violates human rights or do we want a U.S. government that upholds human rights."
Ramzi Kassem, Professor of Law at City University of New York and attorney for many Guantanamo prisoners including Aamer, says Aamer's case is the easiest to resolve and if the Obama administration were serious, he could be released today.
"There's no intention on the U.S. government's part to charge Shaker Aamer," Kassem said. "He was approved for release by the Obama administration's interagency task force years ago, which means that every single agency on the U.S. government's side involved in national security matters took a look at Shaker's file...and they decided that he should be released."