Please Sign the E-Petition Urging the UK Government to Demand the Return from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer

17.2.12

Please sign the e-petition (British citizens and residents only).

On Tuesday, on the 10th anniversary of the arrival at Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last the British resident in the prison, his family and his lawyers in London launched an e-petition on the government’s website, entitled, “Return Shaker Aamer to the UK,” in which they noted:

Shaker Aamer is a British resident with a British wife and children who has been imprisoned without trial by the US in Bagram Airforce Base and Guantánamo Bay for over ten years. The Foreign Secretary and the Foreign Office must undertake urgent new initiatives to achieve the immediate transfer of Shaker Aamer to the UK from continuing indefinite detention in Guantánamo Bay.

With your help, we can secure the 100,000 signatures needed by May 14 for Shaker’s case to be debated in Parliament, and for the government to explain why he is still held, even though his release has been repeatedly approved by the US government, and repeatedly sought by the UK government:

  • The Bush administration cleared him for release from Guantánamo in 2007.
  • The Obama administration cleared him for release from Guantánamo in 2010.
  • The UK government under Gordon Brown requested his return to the UK in 2007.
  • The coalition government has been requesting his return to the UK since 2010.

Shaker Aamer’s ongoing detention is, therefore, both inexplicable and unjustifiable.

Please sign the e-petition, and help to publicise it as widely as possible, to put pressure on the British government to secure Shaker Aamer’s return to the UK.

Last year the campaign for a fair trial for Babar Ahmad secured over 100,000 signatures on an e-petition, leading to a Parliamentary debate and high-level opposition to the extradition laws as they currently stand. The public was sympathetic because Babar Ahmad has been held for eight years without charge or trial pending extradition to the US.

Shaker Aamer is held in Guantánamo, and not in the UK, but it is no less disgraceful that he has been held for ten years without charge or trial, and that his captors no longer even wish to hold him.

The British government has run out of excuses. Help us demand Shaker Aamer’s return, to bring ten years of injustice to an end.

“I am dying here everyday, mentally and physically … we have been ignored, locked up in the middle of the ocean for many years.”
Shaker Aamer

“We have also had lots of Eid festivals without our dad which is not the same as him being here. We would not like to miss any more Eids. We want our Dad to pick us up from school and take us to the park like all other Dads … please don’t forget my dad.”
Johina Aamer, now 14

“It is inconceivable that our closest ally could hold Shaker, the father of four little British children, for ten years without charge, and for five years after he has been cleared for release. Surely the UK is not totally impotent when it comes to protecting such basic human rights.”
Clive Stafford Smith, Director, Reprieve

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) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in June 2011, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

22 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Waris Ali wrote:

    Is there a way you can send this message to all of ur fb friends as other people do for groups?

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    In a word, no, Waris, but there will be a Facebook group set up soon.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Waris Ali wrote:

    You may have heard of the considerably powerful 38 degrees organisation which has 750,000 members. With there help for example the epetition for dropping the NHS bill got tens of thousands of signatures in the space of 24 hours, its gotten over 100,000 signatures in a short period of time and its still ongoing. This is one of there main campaigns and it has taken sometime to get to this point, but you can propose campaigns on there site, theres a specific section for human rights issues. If youve heard of them or know of ppl working for them well then thats great, if not i would strongly suggest u take a look at them, they really are very good. Heres the link to there page, http://www.38degrees.org.uk/

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Waris Ali wrote:

    Those under 18 can also sign, so if you have any younger family members please do pass it on to them

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    I have indeed heard of 38 Degrees, Waris, and I have frequently publicised their petition to save the NHS. I’ll see about getting in touch. As you mentioned, this week, as well as publicizing their own petition, which has over 500,000 signatures, they publicised the e-petition, helping to drive it from 60,000 to 100,000 signatures in just a few days.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Waris Ali wrote:

    Yupp I’m a member, they are very impressive. A great example of people power and adapting to modern times in the ways they do what they do and maximising the impact they can have. I’m sure amnesty and others can learn a thing or two from them. I’ll spread the epetition around at uni, through our amnesty group and the Islamic Society that we have here.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Waris.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Louise Gordon wrote:

    Murcans can’t sign it.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    No, Louise, sadly the British government doesn’t count Americans when it comes to e-petitions. A pity.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Maryam Hassan wrote:

    If it’s easier you can circulate this link which redirects to the petition – http://www.freeshaker.com

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Oh brilliant! Thanks, Maryam. I hadn’t realised that easily memorable redirect was live yet! I’ll do that from now on.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    We just got our first 1,000 signatures! Thanks, everyone. Just 99k to go!

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Waris Ali wrote:

    What of Reprieve and Cageprisoners? Surely they wud be willing to send out the link to its members and ask them to also pass it on? We will of course do what we can to get signatures, but unless we have some organisations backing this, we can only do so much in the limited time that we have. Hopefully the more the epetition spreads, the more the people that will get involved but It would be more than a damn shame if we got close to the signatures needed but not all the way, because organisations or groups got involved a bit too late or like amnesty, not at all. P.s, could u post to ur wall that children/under 18’s can also sign these epetitions, so it wud be great if people could get there younger family members/relations to sign it too.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    John Lovell wrote:

    Nice try, Andy, but justice is not allowed for the Gitmo prisoners.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, John. Yes, very good. But we must try. Guantanamo as a tomb for all the men still held there is simply unacceptable. And Waris, Cageprisoners have a link to the petition on their front page, and Reprieve will be involved, of course, as the petition originated with them, and with Shaker’s family and other lawyers.

  16. Sign the E-Petition Urging the UK Government to Demand the Return from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer | Save Shaker Campaign says...

    […] SOURCE: http://www.andyworthington.co.uk […]

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Waris Ali wrote:

    Aaahh but of course it did, I should have known that lol

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Yasmin Cass wrote:

    And my daddys too plz http://freehamid.blogspot.com/p/fmh-petition.html

  19. Lotus N says...

    please release this poor man. He has not been charged with anything, we must all uphold our own democratic values and beliefs if we expect others to share our sentiment. Thank you very much.

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    And thank you, Lotus. Your concern is appreciated.

  21. Jamil says...

    Free Shaker Aamer

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes indeed, Jamil. Good to hear from you.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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