Socialist Worker

Shaker Aamer due to return to Britain this week

by John Clossick
Issue No. 2476

Protest at M16 building in London in 2013

Protest at M16 building in London in 2013 (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held in the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, has finally been told he is to be released. 

He was held for 13 years. Consistent grassroots campaigning in Britain, led by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign and Reprieve has resulted in US president Barack Obama announcing his release.  

Shaker went to Afghanistan to work for an Islamic charity in 2001, and was there when the US invaded. 

US forces rendered him to Guantanamo Bay claiming he had been fighting for Al Qaida.

Shaker’s case has been taken up by an all-party parliamentary group (APPG), celebrities and the media. 

He is now due to return to Britain this Saturday—Shaker’s 5,000th day in Guantanamo. 

Some of the previous 16 detainees released to Britain still found their returns delayed. 

The APPG has said if Shaker is not freed there will be an immediate parliamentary question to David Cameron.  

The US admitted in 2007 it had no evidence against Shaker and said he would be freed. 

But it tried to deport him to Saudi Arabia where he was born and would continue to be gagged.  

Shaker is an iconic leader of the prisoners and of several hunger strikes. He is known in Guantanamo as “The Prof” for his outspokenness, leadership and determination.  

The US is on the point of blocking further Guantanamo transfers, so the campaign continues.

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