This is the image that, from next week, will be on postcards distributed the length and breadth of the UK, and handed out in universities and colleges, in mosques and churches, and at protests and other gatherings, to secure 100,000 signatures on an e-petition launched by the family and lawyers of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo. Please click on the image for the full-size version.
Entitled, “Return Shaker Aamer to the UK,” the e-petition (which can be signed by children, as well as adults) urges the government — and, specifically, the Foreign Office and the foreign secretary William Hague — to “undertake urgent new initiatives to achieve the immediate transfer of Shaker Aamer to the UK from continuing indefinite detention in Guantánamo Bay.”
The e-petition needs 100,000 signatures by May 14 to secure a response from the British government, and in order to achieve this, campaigners are drawing up plans to repeat the successful campaign to secure a Parliamentary debate about Babar Ahmad, the British citizen who has been held in the UK without charge or trial for eight years pending extradition to the US. Nearly 150,000 signatures were secured for Babar Ahmad between August and November last year, triggering a debate in Parliament that facilitated high-level discussions about the fundamental problems regarding the extradition agreements between the US and the UK, and throughout the EU.
With the support of Reprieve, Cageprisoners, Close Guantánamo, the London Guantánamo Campaign and the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, the campaign to “Return Shaker Aamer to the UK” from Guantánamo is putting out the following message on the postcard-sized flyers which will be available for campaigners to use by the end of next week:
British resident Shaker Aamer has a British wife and four British children.
He has been held at Guantánamo for 10 years without charge or trial.
He is held even though the Bush administration cleared him for release in 2007, Obama reportedly cleared him in 2010, and the UK government has been requesting his release for five years.
Help us bring this injustice to an end. Please sign the e-petition to demand his release.
Please contact us if you would like to receive leaflets, and please feel free to use the image above, or the smaller version here. Also, please feel free to publicise the short URL www.freeshaker.com which redirects to the e-petition, but is, of course, much easier to remember than the full version: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29410.
Please also feel free to download and print paper copies of the petition here, which can be used by campaigners collecting signatures in public. As the campaign progresses we will also need volunteers to input the information from the paper petitions onto the e-petition site, so please let us know if this is something that interests you.
For now, however, let’s concentrate on publicising the e-petition via these excellent flyers, and getting as many signatures as possible to secure the release of Shaker Aamer from his unjustifiable ongoing detention in Guantánamo.
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.
On Facebook, Ben Popkid wrote:
How do we get the flyers to distribute?
Hi, Ben. Send an email to: email@example.com
Ben Popkid wrote:
Thanks man I am on it now
Khateeba Chechi wrote:
Reading looks forward to receiving the flyers! When we had the rally for shakers 10th anniversary the general public was sooooo supportive, am optimistic that if every town,city does their bit we can easily get this petition over 100,000.
Ben Popkid wrote:
Thanks, Khateeba, and thanks again, Ben. I should also mention that if anyone wants to screen “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo,” the documentary film I co-directed with Polly Nash, which tells Shaker’s story (along with the stories of other released British prisoners), as publicity for the e-petition, then please feel free to do so. Info about the film is here: http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/outside-the-law-stories-from-guantanamo/
And you can order it here: http://www.spectacle.co.uk/catalogue_production.php?id=538
And if you do arrange a screening, and you’re interested in having me along as a speaker, then do get in touch.
Ben Popkid wrote:
Andy I am interested. how would we get a copy to screen to students?
You can order a copy from the production company, Ben:
Ben Popkid wrote:
Cool I will speak to our committee on Friday
Waris Ali wrote:
Where it says “Please also feel free to download and print paper copies of the petition here, which can be used by campaigners collecting signatures in public” the link doesn’t work, everytime i click on it it says, This item might not exist or is no longer available. Is it working on your end?
Yes, but I’ll email you the document, Waris.
And don’t forget to sign the petition: http://www.freeshaker.com
Issam Elsalibi wrote:
Nice job you are doing. Another campaign should be launched in Kuwait.
Thanks, Issam. There is a petition in Kuwait, for the two remaining Kuwaiti prisoners, which already has over 20,000 signatures: http://www.aloulalaw.com/petition_en.htm
It’s also being backed by demands in the Kuwaiti Parliament, as I’ll be reporting soon.
[…] The Independent a month ago, concerning the still-imprisoned Shaker Aamer (who was cleared for release by the Bush administration in 2007, and reportedly also by the Obama […]
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. 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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