The Torture Remains the Same

Shaker Aamer | December 31, 2013

Last night, as I came back from my legal call, I was FCEd in much the same way I always am, as I peacefully refused to cooperate with them again. [Note: To be FCEd means that the Forcible Cell Extraction team of six soldiers forcibly moves the detainee from one place to another.] This time they did not just force me down on the floor of the room. They apparently decided that they had to get me dirty, so they threw me down in the passage way of the Gold Building - the Cold building!

I had come to the legal call wearing only my underclothes, as they have been doing the 'scrotum searches', and I wanted to show them that it was all a farce. If I did not have trousers on, how could I be hiding something in my trouser pocket, as Colonel Bogdan alleged in his sworn affidavit in court? Of course, a sensible person might point out that our trousers do not have pockets anyway, but that is another story.

It was a very bad, humiliating search even though I was only wearing underwear and a t-shirt. They searched between my toes for all the weapons I might be secreting there, and they searched my naked thighs. Plus, they were singing the orders in unison. One of them would say "team left" and then, as they turned left, they would all sing it two times in unison: "Team left! Team left!" This is the first time they have ever done this and even though they were trying to humiliate me, I am afraid I thought it was so funny, so silly, that I burst out laughing. This not go down too well.

It took them more than an hour and a half to get me back to my cell. I arrived there at 6.10pm. I told the team as they were leaving to watch out for the splashbox, and exit slowly. No worries. Then I thought it only fair that I should serenade them, just as they had been singing to me. So I sang a bit of Bob Marley for them, as I often do: "Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rights!"

But as they left, they were in such a crazy haste that one of the FCE team members hit the splashbox behind him with his back, so hard that he broke the lock. I don't know if he hurt his back, but I hope not. I had warned him about it. He seemed so scared: somehow I was going to jump up like Superman and attack him, perhaps dragging him back into the cell to do goodness knows what. Sometimes I really wonder why they are so scared since I have never done any injury to them in twelve years, notwithstanding the hundreds of times they have beaten me up. But then it comes to me: They know what they are doing to me is wrong and that's why they are scared. It is not me they are worried about, but they have some metaphorical sense that their mother or father is going to see what they are up to, and wonder what has become of them. Instead of being a brave soldier, they have been reduced to the rank of 'Scrotum Searcher Third Class', and they are told to beat up a defenceless and shackled prisoner with the help of five of their tough buddies.

I did not sustain any injuries this time, thank God. I only have dirty clothes that I need to wash. I'll have to do my laundry in the toilet as usual.

I would like to file a motion to request the FCE videotapes to make sure everyone knows how I am treated whilst being FCEd. I want to tell the court that the military makes the tapes because they say they want a record that they are not doing me any harm - and if this is true, then surely they cannot argue that they have anything to hide. I was glad that CBS News finally got my voice on television, but I would be much happier if someone could put a video out there of me being 'scrotum searched' and beaten up.

I met the new doctor. He is no different than any of the other doctors - different dancer, same club. He certainly dances to the same tune as his predecessors. He came to see me recently. It was even the same song. "I am your new doctor. If you need any help, ask for me." I told him he is not a doctor but a tool in the colonel's hand. He said, "No I am not." So I said I would give him a little test. I reminded him of my arthritis and rheumatism, and said I needed a blanket to keep out the air conditioning that they run so cold here. He said, "That is not my job, I am here to give you medication." I told him that a real doctor would care about my health, not just give me pills. But he did not want to listen, and he left.

They are not doctors, they are navy personnel; they follow orders, not their medical ethics. The system is for the system. The torture is for the torture.

Shaker Aamer is the last British resident still held at Guantanamo. This article was published on on December 31, 2013. Learn more about Shaker Aamer at