MPs and celebrities, including ‘Wolf Hall’ star Mark Rylance and ‘The Walking Dead’ actor David Morrissey, have rallied to the cause of Shaker Aamer, the last British prisoner to be held at Guantanamo Bay.
Mr Aamer, who was born in Saudi Arabian but has UK residency, has been imprisoned in the US military prison on Cuba for 14 years without charge or trial and was promised a release “imminently” on 25 September.
Since this release has failed to materialise, Aamer has gone on hunger strike telling the Mail on Sunday that he’s “still being subjected to brutal physical abuse”.
The campaign ‘Fast For Shaker’, launched by the founders of ‘We Stand With Shaker’, is asking for people wishing to show their solidarity for the father of four, to embark on a 24 hour hunger strike starting on Thursday 15 October. Actress Maxine Peake, Pink Floyd star Roger Waters, and comedian Frankie Boyle have pledged their support alongside MPs David Davis, John McDonnell and Caroline Lucas.
As the campaign website explains, “the hunger strike is intended to show solidarity with Shaker, to encourage him to give up his own hunger strike, and to keep up the pressure for his release.”
Aamer was detained in November 2001 while trying to cross the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan after trying to escape the conflict in the region that began after the events of 9/11. He’d been in Afghanistan to help set up a school, but was detained under suspicions that he’d belonged to Al Qaeda, a charge he’s always denied.
He was cleared for release ‘in principle’ by the US in 2007, and again under Obama in 2009, which means America do not consider him any threat, but no release date was ever set.
For more information on “Fast for Shaker” and “We Stand With Shaker” visit http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/.
Image credit: Press Association