Shaker Aamer’s Statement on His Release from Guantánamo

30.10.15

Joanne MacInnes, the co-director of We Stand With Shaker and campaigner Andrew Jackson at Biggin Hill airfield for Shaker Aamer's return home from Guantanamo.At lunchtime on October 30, 2015, a plane carrying Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, back to the UK as a free man, to be reunited with his family after nearly 14 years without charge or trial in US custody, landed at Biggin Hill airfield. Soon after, Shaker was whisked away by his UK lawyers to receive medical care and to be reunited with his family, and, I am led to believe, he is doing remarking well considering his long ordeal.

The following statement was issued by his UK lawyers and I’m delighted to post it below. It reveals the eloquence, generosity and concern for others that has been a hallmark of Shaker’s words from Guantánamo over the years. All his many supporters should take heart from the fact that he says, “I feel obliged to every individual who fought for justice not just for me but to bring an end to Guantánamo,” adding, “Without knowing of their fight I might have given up more than once; I am overwhelmed by what people have done by their actions, their thoughts and their prayers and without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now.”

Shaker Aamer’s statement, October 30, 2015

“The reason I have been strong is because of the support of people so strongly devoted to the truth. If I was the fire to be lit to tell the truth, it was the people who protected the fire from the wind.

“My thanks go to Allah first, second to my wife, my family, to my kids and then to my lawyers who did everything they could to carry the word to the world. I feel obliged to every individual who fought for justice not just for me but to bring an end to Guantánamo.

“Without knowing of their fight I might have given up more than once; I am overwhelmed by what people have done by their actions, their thoughts and their prayers and without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now.

“The reality may be that we cannot establish peace but we can establish justice. If there is anything that will bring this world to peace it is to remove injustice.”

His UK lawyers, Irène Nembhard and Gareth Pierce at Birnberg Pierce, prefaced his statement with the following words: “Shaker Aamer is an extraordinary man who determined for 14 years that he would return to Britain in the face of the determination of the most powerful of states that he would never do so. He achieved this by unimaginable, heroic, sustained courage, the strength of his character and of his faith being for years his only resource. No one knows and no words can describe torture, isolation, despair, even less for the length and intensity that he has endured. He by the grace of God is now home and this is a new beginning. He has asked us to send the message below to everyone who has cared about him.”

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.

104 Responses

  1. stewart says...

    my god,what a loud mouthed ignorant leftist moron you was on stephen nolans show just then,am i surprised the likes of you andy worthington fights for the rights of every terrorist scumbag that walks the streets of the uk,this left wing/islamist alliance in this country is sickly and why the bbc invites extreme leftist appeasers of radical fascist islam like you on just goes to show how the biased bbc is not worth a penny of the licence fee,go live in syria under isis and take begg and Aamer with you,we are sick of the lot of you enemy within.

  2. Ali Twaij says...

    Beautiful.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Ali. Good to hear from you.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Great! Here’s Shaker Aamer’s first statement on his return from ‪‎Guantanamo‬, thanking Allah, his family, his lawyers, and, as he describes it, “every individual who fought for justice not just for me but to bring an end to Guantánamo.” He adds, “Without knowing of their fight I might have given up more than once.” Thanks to We Stand With Shaker, ‪‎Fast For Shaker‬, Save Shaker and London Guantánamo Campaign supporters, the MPs, the media and all the amazing individuals who have put justice and truth above the lies and distortions of the “war on terror.”

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia R Scott wrote:

    Welcome home!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Sarah Kay wrote:

    whirlwind of emotions for me today. i hope happiness prevails for you Andy! see you soon.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Nick Jewitt wrote:

    Thanks Andy, great work. Welcome home Shaker Aamer.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Lindis Percy wrote:

    WONDERFUL NEWS…now release all the others left behind and close this terrible hell hole.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Dani Taylor wrote:

    Welcome home!

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    Fantastic moment to be alive, Andy. Best wishes to Shaker and his family. They have suffered too much and for much too long. Do they need help now?

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Lindis Percy wrote:

    FANTASTIC message from CAAB (London!) Andrew…what a moment – thank you so much xxx

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Bennett Hall wrote:

    I cannot fathom how this took so long, cleared in 2007, Obama’s public statements of closing the gulag, so happy, yet so confused about my country on this.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Lindis Percy wrote:

    Congress put the brakes on it so they say…but probably a bit more complicated than this!

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Natalia​, Sarah​, Nick​, Lindis​, Dani​, Willy​ and Bennett​. Great to hear from you all. Not sure how to go about supporting the family, Willy. Perhaps ask Reprieve? As for why Shaker was held so long, well, we must wonder, eh, Bennett? And I really do think that it was because he is outspoken and will embarrass them – but it’s not as though he can say anything that will end up with our leaders in the dock. So eight years since he was cleared for release simply because they didn’t have to release him, and it was easier to keep shunting him to the back of the queue. What a disgrace.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    I also posted a photo of myself holding up a ‘Welcome Home Shaker ‘ poster, available here: https://www.facebook.com/WeStandWithShaker/photos/a.706946419395172.1073741827.706940079395806/876160862473726/?type=3&pnref=story

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Elizabeth Ferrari wrote:

    Thank you, Andy.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Anna Giddings wrote:

    I can’t imagine how you must be feeling Andy. At last!

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Brigid Mary Oates wrote:

    Thank you .. you wonderful man… ps saw you on TV today. . I’ve been an emotional wreck all day xx much love x

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Aisha Aijaz wrote:

    Andy! You’re a hero! May God reward you immensely for your tireless work!

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    Margaret Heller wrote:

    Tears of joy!

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Jan Strain wrote:

    YAY! Y’all did it…With the help of a lot of people… Thanks, Andy, for caring so much about humanity

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    David J. Clarke wrote:

    Job well done Andy.

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Sanchez Montebello wrote:

    Sharing

  24. Andy Worthington says...

    Paula Simpson wrote:

    Well done Andy and to all the campaigners for working so hard to get this result.

  25. Andy Worthington says...

    Michelle Landy wrote:

    Such great news. Thank you for your tireless efforts Andy!

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    Matthew Carr wrote:

    Congratulations on a brilliant and courageous campaign Andy.

  27. Andy Worthington says...

    Sairah Ya wrote:

    Congratulations, Andy. Hope we can even be a fraction of Shaker, you and your team. Stay blessed, you’re all in our prayers!

  28. Andy Worthington says...

    Sue Glenton wrote:

    How long have you had that poster ready?

  29. Andy Worthington says...

    David Gould wrote:

    Great result but well overdue. Welcome home. We pray for your recovery Shaker.

  30. Andy Worthington says...

    Laurette LaLiberte wrote:

    Good work my friend !! Now to get the rest of them home.

  31. Andy Worthington says...

    Jennifer Benitez wrote:

    Victory for Shaker and Andy ! Finally justice .

  32. Andy Worthington says...

    Ian DeBaron wrote:

    Outstanding work, my friend! Sending you all the hi-fives in the world!

  33. Andy Worthington says...

    Mohammed Shuaib Sheikh wrote:

    Shaker: 14 years without chrage and 8 years after being told that “the US no longer wants to hold him”! The US rulers are the most dangerous people in the world and the US is the most dangerous and lawless country in the world.

  34. Andy Worthington says...

    Ahlam Al-whatever wrote:

    Such great news! You’re a great role model to us all Andy , and your perseverance and loyalty to justice and truth is very humbling. I am honoured to have met you, Dot and Tyler! Great work and God bless x

  35. David Gould says...

    Shaker has more integrity that all those in the USA who would have happily locked him away for ever. The mark of a civilised people is the rule of law and reliance upon due process. Shaker has been denied these basic human rights for 13 long years and yet comes out praising God. During his time he has endured torture of many kinds which will have left their mark upon him and from which he will need a time to recover. As ever my heart as a Christian reaches out to our Muslim brothers who have suffered at the hands of a monstrous tyranny, that denied them due process and ignored the natural law that demanded redress and release of innocent people. Shaker was cleared for release several times but kept for no good reason on the unfounded suspicion that he may or may not have talked to a possible Terrorist leader. In the end they could not even prove this. Through it all Shaker has been a shining example of all that is noble and yet all that is humble in the human spirit that relies entirely upon his God. Bless you Shaker. The world will hear your story and nations will see that peace is possible when understanding and respect rule.

  36. Andy Worthington says...

    Beth Cioffoletti wrote:

    a sweet day for Shaker Aamer and his family. Welcome home Shaker. I look forward to reading your book!

  37. Andy Worthington says...

    Meg Wallace wrote:

    Great news! Well done Andy and your team for your tireless work and perseverance.

  38. Andy Worthington says...

    Great comments. Thanks, David.

  39. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Elizabeth, Anna, Brigid Mary, Aisha, Margaret, Jan, David, Sanchez, Paula, Michelle, Matthew, Sairah, Sue, David, Laurette, Jennifer, Ian, Mohammed, Ahlam, Beth and Meg. What an exhausting day! But what a great result! Looking forward to meeting Shaker one of these days.
    And to answer your question, Sue: I just made it tonight!

  40. Andy Worthington says...

    When Michael Bentley shared my photo, he wrote:

    Andy Worthington, the man who, along with Shaker’s lawyers and some incredibly dedicated activists, has done more than anyone to bring Shaker Aamer back to his family. Tears come to my eyes when I imagine what it was like for them all to be reunited today!

  41. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Michael!

  42. Anna says...

    Hard to realize that it finally truly happened.

    My heartfelt thanks to all who so much contributed to this ‘miracle’, including you of course, Andy :-)

    May Shaker and his family be granted the peace and privacy needed to carefully, without any outside pressure, rebuild their common life (and may his lawyers at some point give us a new picture so we can discard the orange-jumpsuit ones and know what Shaker really looks like nowadays :-)

    While we now do not need anymore to fast to stop Shaker’s last (:-)!) hungerstrike, I expect we will need to protect him from media and public opinion distortions.
    So far I see a rather disgusting emphasis on how much the airplane rental and 2010 settlement cost taxpayers – as if Shaker had any responsibility whatsoever in this matter – and the usual smirks about Shaker and Moazzam having gone to Afghanistan for humanitarian work – as if caring for your less fortunate fellow human beings were the exclusive priviledge of people of all religions except muslims.

    There’s nothing I can do about the financial ranting (including the Daily Mail’s), but on the subject of their humanitarian work in Afghanistan I can offer my substantial personal experience in that field and in that country, so feel free to tap into that any time :-)

    And after yesterday’s euforia (couldn’t sleep last night :-) my thoughts are with those who stayed behind and must feel even more desperate with Shaker gone. May they be released as well some time soon …

  43. patty guerrero says...

    Glad i was able to fast for Shaker (with the group Tackling Torture at the Top , T3)

  44. Thomas says...

    They finally let him out. :) Although I do wonder why he went to Afghanistan in the first place.

  45. Andy Worthington says...

    Great to hear from you, Anna. I’m sure you’re now seeing the reports about how he’s been reunited with his family, and seems to be doing well. Hoping to meet him in the not too distant future.
    I will bear in mind your comments about Afghanistan.
    I too am always thinking of the 112 men still held at Guantanamo, as, I’m sure, is Shaker. Released prisoners always carry with them the weight of guilt about being free while the rest of Guantanamo’s population is still held.

  46. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Patty. It was a great initiative, but I’m so delighted it’s not needed for Shaker anymore.
    I do wonder, however, if it could be one of a number of measures we can use for the wider campaign to close Guantanamo in 2016.

  47. Andy Worthington says...

    Good to hear from you, Thomas. Funnily enough, the Daily Mail has just been discussing Shaker’s reasons for going to Afghanistan: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3297611/GUY-ADAMS-troubling-questions-never-answered-Shaker-Aamer.html

  48. Anna says...

    Hi Andy,

    The Daily Mail article is one of the ones I had in mind when writing (42), so here we go:

    With all due abhorrence of what the taliban regime in Afghanistan eventually became, it started positively and was much appreciated by the population because it replaced the civil war’s complete lawlessness by basic law and order. As power corrupts, however, all over the world and in all religions, they increasingly were abusing that power and it ended with chopping off people’s hands, public flogging, executions etc. Sounds familiar? Saudi Arabia is doing that on a regular basis and apart from human rights organisations, I see no ‘civilised & democratic’ government raising hell about that or isolating that country politically or otherwise. Yet that is exactly what had happened with the taliban regime.
    Rather than trying to civilize their behaviour through dialogue we preferred to isolate them and exclude them even further from our world. As we are still doing: starving kids in Iraq and Iran through economic sanctions, waiting four years before having a peaceful international meeting about the political situation in Syria, etc.etc.
    First we drop bombs, when that – evidently – does not work we send in the army and when eventually we have to admit that that is leading nowhere while millions of people have been killed or had their lives destroyed and mutual hatred has been bred, we finally – usually too late – remember that there is something like diplomacy, dialogue with the enemy.

    Well, Shaker and Moazzam had a much more intelligent not to mention humane approach. Some might call it naive (not me) but it certainly was in no way criminal.
    They decided that as somewhat ‘westernized’, well educated pious muslims, the taliban might take them more seriously than the usually antagonizing westeners.
    They would go there and start such a direly needed dialogue with the taliban and try to ‘talk some sense’ into them, try and explain how some of their behaviour was a disgrace to muslim faith and in addition turned them into pariahs internationally. They ‘crowdfunded’ some aid money and left with their young families to offer humanitarian aid.
    As countless others have done. Personal initiatives which in several cases grew into respected international NGO’s, as theirs might have done, had they had more time.

    I do not know whom they met or did not meet in Afghanistan, for all they know some may have been criminals. However, we all meet people who may be criminals, also in Europe or the US, but meeting them does not make us complicit in their crimes. In the course of my work I personally must have met quite some people ‘with blood on their hands’ without knowing that, as obviously no one can check the credentials of every civil servant or even shopkeeper one deals with. Does having met such persons make me an accomplice?
    Is an aidworker rehabilitating drug addicts or even convicted criminals automatically a criminal himself or even ‘giving material support’ to criminals?

    For those who think that it is in any way ‘suspicious’ that a young family would leave for Afghanistan in 2001, I can testify that during the taliban regime several NGO’s were working in that country, including a serious, well reputed British NGO. What’s more, its expat staff was an Australian couple with a six months old baby. I met them personally when in 2000 they came to visit the sister-office that I was running in Central Asia. In spite of the physical hardship and tense political situation they loved their life and work in Herat.
    The NGO has a christian background but religion is not an employment criterion and I have known persons of various religions as well as atheists among their staff.
    It never indulges in any proselytising and like all serious development NGOs is neutral: no religion, no politics. The taliban knew that and respected their medical support for the local population. To my knowledge, no one ever insinuated that that couple had any murky, hidden motivations …

    As for the idea that someone raised in a western country where he/she can have a comfortable life might wish to live and see his children grow up in a less permissive society, I can understand and respect that. Hard as it may be to believe, the ‘underdeveloped’ countries I – an educated European woman – have had the pleasure to work in, whether in Africa or Central Asia, in many ways are more civilised than we are, with still some old-fashioned human values like solidarity. In Afghanistan responsibility towards the extended family clan has two sides, like any social system. On the one hand it can be restrictive, even stifling in personal choices and behaviour, on the other hand it provides social coherence and a safety net in times of crisis – which is crucial in a country with no governmental social security system. Whether one prefers such a society to live in or the individualistic – and increasingly islamophobic – ones we have evolved into, is a deeply personal choice. That is what it was for Shaker and Moazzam and their families and no hidden motivations need to be sought here.

    For let’s imagine that 9/11 had not happened, the US and their ‘coalition’ had not occupied Afghanistan, Arabs and other muslim foreigners had not been sold to the US army.
    Shaker and Moazzam would have continued to build wells (there had been a very severe drought since several years already, which lasted until roughly 2004), support education for girls and may or may not have succeeded in ‘talking sense’ into the taliban. Sooner or later the taliban would have been chased by the Afghans themselves and then infighting would have started. The two families might not have wished their kids to grow up in a civil war and would have returned to the UK, or maybe moved to some other country.
    In other words, the same basic choices that all ex-pat development workers face when insecurity crosses a certain threshold, certainly those with children.
    Their tragedy was that they went there shortly before 9/11 and were foreign Muslims, and thus became ‘collateral damage’ GWOT victims.

    Finally, it is preposterous to assume that only Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists etc or atheists can feel the urge to share their wealth, knowledge and experience with less fortunate fellow human beings, but not Muslims or Arabs … I have worked with people from all of those faiths during the roughly 10 years that I worked in Afghanistan and none of us took the others’ religion into account. What counted was their professional value and commitment.

    NB: these opinions and observations are strictly my responsibility and none of that may be ascribed to Shaker and Moazzam. I hope I did not misquote any of their motivations.

  49. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Anna, for your very considered comments – based, as you mention, on 10 years spent working in Afghanistan, so you know what you’re talking about.

  50. sr. Paulette Schroeder says...

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAh, I whisper “thanks” thanks” over and over to God and to Shaker and to Andy and to all the folks who kept working one day at a time with hope and perseverance. THE DAY has finally come. Shaker, may it be pure joy for you as you live one day at a time into your newfound freedom.
    Blessings always.
    Paulette Schroeder osf

  51. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Paulette. Very good to hear from you.

  52. Andy Worthington says...

    Dani Taylor wrote:

    What a day with the HIGHEST of HIGHS and the lowest of lows. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO:

    Andy Worthington You dear, dear, DEAR, Hero to Humanity! What a victory you brought about for all the sane, peaceful, concerned members of the Human Family across the world. You poured your life into your efforts to free an innocent human being from the pits of hell and gave us all hope again.

  53. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Dani!

  54. Andy Worthington says...

    Rosie Much wrote:

    Congratulations to Cage, Moazzam Begg Andy Worthington and everyone else involved in getting Shaker released at last.

  55. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Rosie. Great to hear from you.

  56. Andy Worthington says...

    Nissi F Lachhab wrote:

    Thank u Andy Worthington .

  57. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, Nissi. Great to hear from you.

  58. Andy Worthington says...

    Barbara Cummings wrote:

    Again, much credit to the indefatigable Andy Worthington who has spent years of his life seeking justice for those imprisoned at Guantanamo
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/30/shaker-aamer-freed-guantanamo-the-story-behind-the-five-year-delay

  59. Andy Worthington says...

    Kathryn M Blackwood wrote:

    Buy his book.

  60. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Barbara. Much appreciated. And thanks also, Kathryn. http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/the-guantanamo-files/

  61. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson‎ wrote:

    Shaker Aamer… A former Guantanamo guard just tweeted Moazzam Begg and I…
    “Shaker (Aamer) was beat by the IRF team almost on a daily basis this info comes from former guards who knew Shaker”

  62. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, he was remorselessly abused for his resistance to injustice, Carol. I can completely empathise with where he was coming from, but it’s almost inconceivable to imagine courting that kind of violence every single day.

  63. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:

    Well we will fight for an inquiry, he may not want people punished but he deserves some answers! I saw the docs report, awful…

  64. Andy Worthington says...

    Oh, absolutely, Carol. But we will need to build a broad alliance – and we will need insiders who will support a proper inquiry not a whitewash.

  65. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:

    “Welcome home Shaker”: We will fight for an inquiry into torture, essential to your healing process
    https://activist1.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/welcome-home-shaker-we-will-fight-for-an-inquiry-into-torture-essential-to-your-healing-process/

  66. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Carol!

  67. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:

    Welcome… any news?

  68. Andy Worthington says...

    Only that he’s doing better than expected, Carol. It’s been good to hear in the media from Dr. David Nicholl, neurologist and long-time campaigner for his release, who’s heading his medical team.

  69. Andy Worthington says...

    Neil Goodwin werote:

    Far from good news. A ‘racist’ system locks an innocent man up for 14 years, to apease the mob, and, having tortured him continually throughout, finally releases him. There’s nothing good about that. My friend, Andy Worthington, and others have fought for his release throughout, and perhaps the one good thing to come out of this tragic story is the idea that you should never give up.. that somehow truth will find a way. Though, I’m leaving ‘justice’ well out of it, as there can never be justice for Shaker Aamer after so many years away from his family.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/31/shaker-aamer-faces-years-rehab-guantanamo

  70. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Neil. I do think we can all take from this a genuine belief that we must never give up, and I actually think the British establishment – including MPs and the media – have come out of this rather well. But yes, justice is still missing, especially for the 112 men still held at Guantanamo – most, like Shaker, without charge or trial. For the most part, they should be regarded as political prisoners.

  71. Andy Worthington says...

    On October 30, I posted the following photo of myself holding up a “Welcome Home Shaker” poster, which as of November 2, has reached 20,366 people!
    https://www.facebook.com/WeStandWithShaker/photos/a.706946419395172.1073741827.706940079395806/876160862473726/?type=3&permPage=1

    I wrote:

    Here’s my message to Shaker Aamer, back from ‪Guantanamo‬ today after being held for nearly 14 years without charge or trial, and eight years since he was first told that the US no longer wanted to hold him. Shaker is now a free man, receiving medical care and reunited with his family. Thanks to everyone who has worked towards this day – campaigners, MPs, lawyers, the media and concerned citizens up and down the country and around the world. We proved that campaigning against apparently insurmountable odds can be successful!

  72. Andy Worthington says...

    Entisar Ibrahim wrote:

    Thank you Andy Worthington for all the hard work.

  73. Andy Worthington says...

    Zena Kayat wrote:

    Remarkable,Andy u did it,and u the best.

  74. Andy Worthington says...

    Harriet Marrinan wrote:

    Such a happy day. Welcome home Shaker indeed and congratulations Andy Worthington on this fantastic success.

  75. Andy Worthington says...

    Patty Guerrero wrote:

    Glad i fasted for Shaker.

  76. Andy Worthington says...

    Jim Birdsall wrote:

    I’m delighted. Welcome back Shaker!

  77. Andy Worthington says...

    Michael Bentley wrote:

    I still feel like jumping for joy, Andy! You must be absolutely elated!

  78. Andy Worthington says...

    Anne McClintock wrote:

    Huge congratulations, Andy, for showing the world how change can happen.

  79. Andy Worthington says...

    Shahela Begum wrote:

    Yes, thank you so much Andy for everything you did!

  80. Andy Worthington says...

    Seán Douglas wrote:

    Sort of makes a mockery of the land of the free!

  81. Andy Worthington says...

    Aneela Mahmood wrote:

    Thank you Andy for all your effort and hard work.

  82. Andy Worthington says...

    David Holton wrote:

    Just listening to the interview with some of his legal team on radio 4.my wife says it is obvious because of the manner in which he was brought back that he has PTSD

  83. Andy Worthington says...

    Javier Rodriguez wrote:

    Great news – I still can’t quite believe it. Well done on all your hard work raising awareness and pushing for Shaker’s release.

  84. Andy Worthington says...

    Emma Louise wrote:

    God bless my brother and his family and may they all live in peace and happiness forever.

  85. Andy Worthington says...

    Muna Abougoush wrote:

    Solidarity from Canada! Reach out if Shaker and his family need anything!

  86. Andy Worthington says...

    Sue Wilson wrote:

    Good to know he’s back with his family.

  87. Andy Worthington says...

    Eleanor Boyd wrote:

    What a wonderfully happy day. I hope that being back with his family will restore Shaker to health in time. Thanks for all you have done and do for all the detainees. You are one of a kind.

  88. Andy Worthington says...

    Anika Kamal wrote:

    Thank you so much for your amazing work and perseverance and to everyone else on your team who has made this day possible. We are so proud of you, for the tireless work you do, the generosity of your efforts and the hope you bring to those like Shaker, his family and many others who have suffered gross injustice. Thank you for being a shining example and restoring our faith in justice, truth and human goodness.

  89. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, Zena, Harriet​, Patty, Jim​, Michael, Anne, Shahela​, Seán, Aneela​, David, Javier, Emma, Muna​, Sue​, Eleanor and Anika​ for all your comments. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. It’s been quite busy!

  90. Andy Worthington says...

    Asif Rana‎ wrote:

    So what’s next Andy? Still hasn’t quite sunk in.

  91. Andy Worthington says...

    Still working to get Guantanamo closed, Asif! http://www.closeguantanamo.org/Join-Us
    As for it sinking in, I know, it’s kind of counter-intuitive after all this time to realise that Shaker’s free. Of course, I imagine he’s feeling like that too. I hope to meet him in the not too distant future.

  92. Andy Worthington says...

    Asif Rana wrote:

    Good stuff Andy.

    Please pass on the best wishes of everyone, I’m sure.

    I feel pleased that I had some tiny, tiny, part in this, through helping to support your work. And going to one of the Demos.

    Was well worth it.

    Would be amazing to meet him. I met Moazzam Begg earlier this Summer. Blew me away.

    Thanks again, for all your work.

  93. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks again, Asif.

  94. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, I posted a photo of my band The Four Fathers holding up signs welcoming Shaker home: https://www.facebook.com/WeStandWithShaker/photos/a.706946419395172.1073741827.706940079395806/876873705735775/?type=3&pnref=story

  95. Andy Worthington says...

    Bill Gibbons wrote:

    What great work you are all doing, Andy.

  96. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Bill. Great to hear from you, and thanks for the supportive words.

  97. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    What a thrilling moment after all this time. I hope Shaker and his family get some quiet space in which to rebuild their lives. Does he need help?

  98. Andy Worthington says...

    I think he’s doing OK, Willy. The government reached a financial settlement with him in 2010, even though he was still in Guantanamo, and my understanding is that he will be receive that money soon. I’m also hearing that it doesn’t involve any attempt at a gagging order by the government – not that I was entertaining the thought for a moment that Shaker would allow himself to be silenced!

  99. Andy Worthington says...

    Anjum Anwar wrote:

    Many many Congratulations Andy, every drop washes the stone!

  100. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Anjum. Good to hear from you.

  101. Andy Worthington says...

    Kathy Da Silva wrote:

    You overcame a mountain I think

  102. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Kathy. Your comment is greatly appreciated!

  103. Civil Freedoms – Shaker Aamer and the future of Guantanamo says...

    […] himself was extraordinarily gracious in thanking those who stood with him. His brief statement in part read: “I feel obliged to every individual who fought for justice not just for me but to […]

  104. freedetainees.org – Shaker Aamer and the future of Guantanamo says...

    […] himself was extraordinarily gracious in thanking those who stood with him. His brief statement in part read: “I feel obliged to every individual who fought for justice not just for me but to […]

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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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