Innocent prisoner Shaker Aamer still in Guantanamo

This music video says about itself:

3 August 2013

PJ Harvey has released a song to highlight the ongoing detention of the last British resident held inside the US prison at Guantánamo Bay.

The track, called Shaker Aamer was recorded by the Mercury prizewinning songwriter to help maintain pressure to have the 46-year-old, whose family live in south London, released back to Britain.

Aamer has been detained in Guantánamo for more than 11 years, despite being cleared for release in 2007, and remains imprisoned without charge or trial. He has a British wife and his four children — the youngest of whom he has never met — were all born in Britain. They live in Tooting, south London.

The British government has stated repeatedly that it wants him back in the UK and last week, under escalating international pressure, the US announced it is to restart transfers from the prison. Concerns remain, however, that Aamer might be forcibly sent to Saudi Arabia and imprisoned there instead of being reunited with his family in the UK.

Shaker Aamer

No water for three days.
I cannot sleep, or stay awake.

Four months hunger strike.
Am I dead, or am I alive?

With metal tubes we are force fed.
I honestly wish I was dead.

Strapped in the restraining chair.
Shaker Aamer, your friend.

In camp 5, eleven years.
Never Charged. Six years cleared.

They took away my one note pad,
and they refused to give it back.

I can’t think straight, I write, then stop.
Your friend, Shaker Aamer. Lost.

The guards just do what they’re told,
the doctors just do what they’re told.

Like an old car I’m rusting away.
Your friend, Shaker, Guantanamo Bay.

Don’t forget.

© 2013 Hothead Music Ltd.

By Jeremy Corbyn in Britain:

In 2001 Shaker Aamer and his family were happily living in Afghanistan. He was working on building girls’ schools and improving education.

September 2001 came, and with it war on Afghanistan waged by an enormous international coalition and many others.

The US offered enormous sums of money to anyone in Afghanistan who could bring in any foreign nationals who were deemed to be supporters of the Taliban. Shaker was a victim of this, and was sold by various bounty hunters and eventually ended up in Bagram base in Kabul where he was brutally treated, and then sometime later found himself in Guantanamo Bay.

He has never been charged with any offence and never been through any judicial process. He has now been in custody for 14 years.

He has a Saudi passport, but his wife and children are all British and he has permanent residence in Britain. He was cleared for release by the George Bush administration and later re-cleared for release by the Barack Obama presidency, but is still not able to return to his family.

In Guantanamo Bay there have been protests, hunger strikes and a worldwide campaign — 15 British prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have been returned home but Shaker remains in custody.

This issue has been raised by the wonderful Save Shaker Aamer campaign who have been marching, meeting, protesting and demonstrating outside Parliament for a long time and they deserve enormous credit.

Earlier this year John McDonnell formed an all-party parliamentary Shaker Aamer group which immediately attracted 40 MPs of all parties and in March placed a resolution before the House of Commons calling for his return to Britain.

This was agreed by the House of Commons. The Prime Minister has taken the issue up directly with President Obama, and William Hague also raised the subject with his counterpart, Hilary Clinton, when he was foreign secretary.

Early this week I was part of a delegation with two conservative MPs — Andrew Mitchell and David Davis — and one Labour colleague, Andy Slaughter, to lobby the US Senate on the case.

During meetings with Senators John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Manchin, Patrick Leahy and Dick Durbin, as well as in discussions with the State Department and the Senate Armed Services Committee we demanded Shaker’s release from Guantanamo Bay.

It’s past time this legal void should be closed, and Shaker allowed to return to Britain.

Without campaigning by ordinary people for justice for Shaker, there would never have been a resolution passed by the House of Commons to visit the Senate. It shows the value of protest.

See also here.

SHADOW chancellor John McDonnell joined celebrities, MPs and journalists yesterday in a defiant pledge to fast for the immediate release of Guantanamo Bay detainee Shaker Aamer: here.

13 thoughts on “Innocent prisoner Shaker Aamer still in Guantanamo

  1. Pingback: Will innocent Guantanamo prisoner be free at last? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Monday, 8 June 2015

    ‘They bang your head on a wall – then give you a hot meal’

    SHAKER Aamer, the last British resident detained at Guantanamo Bay, has spoken out about his treatment at detention centres in the US and Afghanistan, claiming he was tortured in the presence of British soldiers and MI5 agents.

    Aamer has been held at Guantanamo for 13 years without trial. His lawyers claim the extended detention without charge is to prevent him from speaking out about his ordeal. Now newly released transcripts reveal the complicity of British officers in the CIA torture programme.

    Aamer said: ‘I was not a human being any more. I meant nothing to them. I lost my dignity, my pride.
    ‘I had to take off my underwear and hand it to them. I had sleep deprivation for 11 days. That made me crazy. They poured cold water over me. They kept me standing for 20 hours a day. I had to hold my hands and arms out.

    ‘All of the statements I made at Bagram were during the sleep deprivation. I would have said anything. I told them, “I will tell you I am Bin Laden if you want me to”,’ he said. Aamer also told his doctor how he was hurled against the wall of an interrogation chamber as a British officer looked on.
    ‘They do that until you are shivering, until they have broken you, until your mind is completely empty. You feel like you’re not real any more. Like it’s a dream.

    ‘And now the worst part comes. They treat you with kindness. It destroys you completely. Your thinking is paralysed. Your feeling is paralysed. And the interrogator says, “I am trying to help you”.

    ‘You don’t know what to love and what to hate because it’s all happening at the same time. They bang your head on the wall and then they give you a hot meal.’


  3. CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the release of Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer will mark US Independence Day tomorrow with a detention camp-themed “picnic” outside the US embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square.

    Volunteer “Guantanamo prisoners” will be dragged by “US guards,” strapped to a restraining chair and force-fed through the nose by “President Obama” using a thick plastic tube.

    The event is being organised by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (SSAC).

    SSAC chairwoman Joy Hurcombe said: “While the US celebrates this day with speeches and rejoicing, prisoners in Guantanamo, such as British resident Shaker Aamer (pictured with his children), detained for years without without charge or trial, will spend another day in chains, denied the justice and liberty which will be celebrated today by the US.

    “Please join us outside the US embassy from 2pm to 4pm to call for the release of Shaker Aamer, the closure of Guantanamo and for an end to the barbaric practice of force-feeding used to punish those who dare to protest against their denial of justice and liberty.”


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