Shaker Aamer may never come home
SHAKER AAMER, the last British detainee still held without charge or trial for more than 11 years now, may never return home, even though he was cleared for release in 2007.
The reason, given in a recent report in the Guardian, is a “secret deal” US authorities, Saudi Arabia and British intelligence services.
According to the report, earlier this month, two Metropolitan Police detectives interviewed Aamer to gather allegations that MI5 and MI6 were complicit in his torture.
If he returned to London he would almost certainly be a key witness in Scotland Yard’s investigation into allegations of British complicity in torture in the post 9/11 years.
His legal team alleges that the US, Saudi Arabia – where he was born – and British security services are trying to ensure he never goes back to Britain.
But officials in Saudi Arabia have threatened him with imprisonment.
“It seems highly probable that the British security services are in bed with the Americans on trying to keep Shaker from coming back to the UK.
We can only hope that Hague will hold them to account,” Clive Stafford Smith, director of the legal charity reprieve, which is representing Shaker, told the Guardian.
Met still institutionally racist
THE METROPOLITAN Black Police Association (BPA) last week claimed that, 20 years after the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in Eltham, south London, the Metropolitan Police force is still institutionally racist.
The BPA, the biggest group representing minority officers in the force, says despite the training and community initiatives put in place over the past two decades, Scotland Yard has failed to tackle the mind-set at the heart of failures over Lawrence.
Senior officers will not like this report. Former Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson announced in 2009 that that after much hard work the force was no longer institutionally racist.
"The [BPA] association still believe that the police service is institutionally racist," said the BPA statement. Its chair, Bevan Powell, added: "Institutional racism is not about labelling individuals racists but rather police practice and procedures that bring about disproportionate outcomes for black and minority ethnic communities.
He said close examination of key statistics relating to the race and policing bears that out. "An examination of section 95 data (Criminal Justice Act) provides the supporting empirical evidence to support my assertion."
Met still chasing Stephen Lawrence killers
SIR BERNARD Hogan-Howe, chief of the Metropolitan Police, last week declared: “We will catch those involved” in the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, 20 years ago this month.
Two men, Gary Dobson, 37, and David Norris, 36, were jailed for life after being found guilty last year of the attack.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said it had taken "too long" to convict the pair. “After taking too long, we did get convictions in two cases last year and what we're going to do is catch the other people involved," he said. "We still have got suspects identified."
A poster has been put up in New Scotland Yard with a personal message from Sir Bernard. It reads: "Twenty years ago the Lawrence family lost their loved son, Stephen.
"We let them down by not catching his murderers. Then last year we finally brought two of his killers to justice. The Met won't forget Stephen Lawrence."