3000 Days in Guantánamo: Shaker Aamer Protest at 10 Downing Street, Saturday April 24, 2010


Andy Worthington


April 22, 2010

At 12 noon on Saturday April 24, 2010, the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign
is holding a protest opposite 10 Downing Street to mark a sad occasion
— 3000 days since British resident Shaker Aamer, who was cleared for
release from Guantánamo in 2007, first arrived at the prison.

Speakers include: author and journalist Victoria Brittain; Andy Worthington, journalist, author of The Guantánamo Files and co-director of "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo"; Yvonne Ridley, patron of Cageprisoners;
Martin Linton, Labour MP for Battersea (Shaker’s home borough);
Wandsworth Parliamentary candidates Layla Moran (Liberal Democrats) and
Bruce McKenzie (the Green Party); and Joy Hurcombe from Brighton
Against Guantánamo.

The protest lasts until 2 pm,
and the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign encourages those attending to wear
orange or an orange jumpsuit, and to bring banners and placards. As
part of the event, the SSAC will hand in a petition to Prime Minister
Gordon Brown calling for Shaker’s return, and will also hand in a
letter to Ivan Lewis, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister at the
FCO.

Please come along and show your
support for Britain’s last resident in Guantánamo, still unjustly
detained over three years since he was cleared for release.

For further information, please call Ray Silk on: 07756 493877.

About Shaker Aamer

3000 days after his arrival at
Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer continues to be held, despite being cleared
for release in 2007, and despite the British government asking for him to be returned to the UK in August 2007.

Born in Saudi Arabia, Shaker
Aamer moved to the UK in 1994, and was a legal British resident at the
time of his capture, after he had traveled to Afghanistan with Moazzam
Begg (and their families) to establish a girls’ school and some
well-digging projects. He has a British wife and four British children
(although he has never seen his youngest child).

As the foremost advocate of the
prisoners’ rights in Guantánamo, Shaker’s influence upset the US
authorities to such an extent that those pressing for his return fear
that the US government wants to return him to Saudi Arabia, the country
of his birth, where he will not be at liberty to tell his story, and
recent revelations indicate that, despite claims that it has been doing
all in its power to secure his release, the British government may also
share this view.

In December 2009, it emerged in a court case in the UK that British agents witnessed his abuse while he was held in US custody in Afghanistan, and in January 2010, for Harper’s Magazine, law professor Scott Horton reported that he was tortured in Guantánamo
on the same night, in June 2006, that three other men appear to have
been killed by representatives of an unknown US agency, and that a
cover-up then took place, which successfully passed the deaths off as
suicides.

Shaker’s story features prominently in the new documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" (directed by filmmaker Polly Nash and myself), and, since February, former prisoner Omar Deghayes
and I have been touring the UK showing the film, taking part in
post-screening Q&A sessions, and encouraging audiences to send a
letter to foreign secretary David Miliband asking him to do all in his
power to secure Shaker’s release. That letter can be cut and pasted here, and there is also an Amnesty International campaign page,
where interested parties can send a letter to Prime Minister Gordon
Brown and can email David Miliband. The film tour is ongoing, and
further details can be found here. Please also visit this page for a video of Shaker’s daughter Johina handing in a letter to Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street on January 11, 2010.

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Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in January 2010, details about the new documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and currently on tour in the UK), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

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