Video: Andy Worthington Speaks to RT at the Launch of Fast For Shaker in London on October 15

17.10.15

Andy Worthington, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Joanne MacInnes at the launch of Fast For Shaker outside Parliament on October 15, 2015 (Photo: Seb Corbyn for Andy Worthington).Many thanks to RT for their excellent coverage of Thursday’s press launch, opposite Parliament, of the Fast For Shaker campaign set up by myself and Joanne MacInnes, the founders of the We Stand With Shaker Campaign that we launched 11 months ago, with a giant inflatable figure of the last British resident in Guantánamo that grabbed people’s attention, with celebrities and MPs happy to Stand With Shaker and to call for his release, as the years roll on since he was first approved for release — in 2007 under George W. Bush, and in 2009 under Barack Obama.

I was fasting on Thursday, with 75 other people around the world — a few of whom were also in London for the launch, including Jo — and it was quite demanding, as a result, running around trying to make sure it all ran smoothly, although I’m glad to say it did. See my photos here, and my report here.

RT interviewed me, John McDonnell, the comedian Sara Pascoe, and Shaker’s father-in-law Saeed Siddique, and I recommend all those interviews as well as the interview with the actor and director Mark Rylance, who took place a few days before.

My interview is below, via YouTube, and I hope you have time to watch it.

I was pleased to have been able to talk about my long involvement with the efforts to close Guantánamo (nearly ten years now), the reasons Jo and I launched Fast For Shaker, why Shaker is on a hunger strike, and why, disgracefully, he has been held for so long not because of any threat he poses, but because he is eloquent and outspoken, and has persistently resisted the injustices of the “war on terror,” and because, as a result, he may be able to embarrass both the US and the UK governments. As I explain, though, it is unlikely that he has any major new revelations to report, given how much damning material has emerged over the years, in spite of which those responsible, at the highest levels of government in the US and the UK, have avoided all accountability for their actions, and are unlikely to have this situation change just because Shaker is freed.

Imagine the disdain for the law that exists when a man can be held for 14 years simply because what he knows will embarrass those who wrongfully detained him in the first place.

I hope for Shaker’s speedy release, and I also continue to hope for, and to work towards the closure of Guantánamo as a whole.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album, ‘Love and War,’ is available for download or on CD via Bandcamp — also see here). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign, the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, calling for the immediate release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — 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. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

3 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks to everyone liking and sharing this. I posted all the RT videos on the Fast For Shaker website press page here: http://www.fastforshaker.org.uk/press/

  2. Jamal Ajouaou says...

    The truth is the truth embarrassing or not , Human wrongly in jail but others don’t want to be embarrassed. every thing was based on lie ,secret evidence obtained but torture who lead to torture more people , crazy ,what if things like this happen to the person obama and his family ? sad for shaker and his family not only but also sad for every human that live and bread watching doing nothing when other human are been abused ,indeed it is injustice to us all .

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    It is indeed an injustice to us all, Jamal. Thank you for your comments.

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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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