Socialist Worker

Anger after release of Shaker Aamer is delayed

by John Clossick
Issue No. 2477

Protesters marching to free Shaker Aamer in 2010 - five years later he has still not been released

Protesters marching to free Shaker Aamer in 2010 - five years later he has still not been released (Pic: Julia Davidson/flickr)


Angry protesters gathered at Downing Street last Saturday over continuing delays to the release of Shaker Aamer, the last remaining British resident in Guantanamo prison.

Shaker had been due to fly in to RAF Northolt last weekend.

Joy Hurcombe, chair of the Save Shaker Campaign, said, “Why is the plane not on the runway? We will not stop till Shaker is brought home.” 

Shaker has been held for over 13 years but never charged and never tried. He has led several hunger strikes and been a witness to Guantanamo tortures and deaths. 

The public demonstrations and protests led by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign forced politicians to act. 

Imam and activist Suliman Gani said, “It’s so good that people will come out in support of Shaker. Most simply know him as a man the US has incarcerated.

Demonising

“It shows that despite the media and politicians, including the prime minister, demonising Muslims every day, people will come out in solidarity.” 

A 118,000-signature petition forced a House of Commons debate. This compelled David Cameron to put pressure on US president Barack Obama.  

Obama phoned Cameron on 25 September to say that Shaker would return 30 days after a statutory notice to Congress. That notice has now expired.  

Joy told Socialist Worker, “It’s terrible there has now been another setback. It’s deeply troubling especially for Shaker’s family.”

Shaker was cleared for release in 2007, but Labour and Tory governments are responsible for the eight years it’s taken to secure his freedom.

Some 112 prisoners remain in the camp, and the US congress is preparing to block further transfers.

The campaigning for Shaker’s immediate return continues.

Contact the campaign at ssac.contact@gmail.com  

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