Shaker Aamer has thanked all those who have campaigned for his release when he arrived home after his release from the US prison camp Guantanamo Bay.
Shaker phoned Joy Hurcombe, the chair of Save Shaker Aamer Campaign [SSAC] shortly after his arrival back in central London early Friday evening. The call was his first after speaking to relatives after his almost 14 years of imprisonment without charges or trial.
Shaker said “I am well aware of how much the campaign did, standing out on the streets in rain and shine. I thank you all for what you did to keep my hopes alive."
Joy told Socialist Worker that he said he wanted to thank supporters for the years of work they had done to keep his case in the headlines, and on the government’s agenda.
Shaker told her, “Many times I was afraid I might not come back. I almost gave up but you kept me going. Then I thought I’d better come back with all the work you’ve done for me!
“I thank you all for standing up for justice.”
Joy told Shaker, “It was your courage kept us all going.” She told Socialist Worker she felt privileged to hear from him.
These are the first words heard from Shaker since 2013 when he was heard calling out from his cell to a US news team “Let us die in peace, or tell the world the truth.”
Shaker is said to have had a medical check up before he was taken to see his family including Faris, the teenage son he has never met. Faris was born in 2002 on the day Shaker was taken into Guantanamo after being rendered by the US from Afghanistan.
Shaker was the last British resident held in Guantanamo. He had been working for an Islamic charity in Afghanistan when he was captured.
The US claimed he had been fighting for Al Qaida. But he has never been charged and the US admitted as long ago as 2007 that they had no evidence against him.
The fight to expose the truth about British state complicity in rendition, torture, and death in Guantanamo continues.