Singer questions Britain's role in CIA torture programme
Former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters has said that there’s “no place in the legal system” for the “institutionalised brutality” of Guantanamo Bay and called for a judge-led inquiry into Britain’s role in the detention and alleged torture of British prisoner Shaker Aamer.
In an Op-ed for the Daily Mail, Waters discussed recent revelations about the CIA’s torture programme and raised concerns about “the mounting evidence that our own [Britain’s] intelligence and security agencies may have colluded with the CIA” in the rendition and torture of terror suspects.
In particular, Waters focused on the case of Shaker Aamer, a 46-year-old Londoner who was seized by the US and rendered to Guantanamo while working in Afghanistan 13 years ago. “During Mr Aamer’s long spell of incarceration, he has never been put on trial or even had any charges leveled against him,” Waters wrote. “No human being should be subjected to such monstrous and prolonged treatment — 13 years, with no evidence produced to suggest a crime!”
Waters explained that he became involved in the case after it was brought to his attention by Aamer’s laywer Clive Stafford Smith, who received a letter from Aamer that included the opening lyrics to Pink Floyd 1979 song ‘Hey You’.
“Mr Aamer said the lyrics captured his experience in Guantanamo. I was profoundly touched that ‘Hey You’ had had such a resonance with him,” he wrote, before concluding that “this abuse of power exhibits all the hallmarks of despotism. Either we believe in freedom to live under the law, including the law of Habeas Corpus, or we don’t.”
In November, Pink Floyd secured their first Number One album since 1995 with new record ‘The Endless River’, beating Foo Fighters’ ‘Sonic Highways’ to the top spot.
Earlier this year, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason compared the departure of former bandmate Waters in 1985 to the death of Joseph Stalin in Russia. “It must have been the same when Stalin died. It took quite a while [to recover], it was a three or four year period,” he said.