A Photo and a Message from Shaker Aamer to His Supporters

11.11.15

A photo that Shaker Aamer made available to the We Stand With Shaker campaign to thanks all his supporters who worked so hard to secure his release from Guantanamo.So the following message and the accompanying photo here — made available by Shaker Aamer, who, until October 30, was the last British resident in Guantánamo — really need no additional explanation, except to say that Shaker made them available to Joanne MacInnes and I, as the co-directors of the We Stand With Shaker campaign, specifically so that he could thank everyone who worked so hard for his release. Thanking everyone is something that has been weighing on his mind as he recovers from his long ordeal, and begins to get used to his freedom. We wish him all the best, and are glad to see him looking so well, and so evidently full of spirit and kindness.

Shaker Aamer’s message to all his supporters

Hi Joanne and Andy,

Please send this message below to all of those who campaigned with We Stand With Shaker, the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, those who fasted for me, MPs, and everyone else you know who has fought for my release.

I can’t tell you how much I want to speak to all of you and stand with all of you, carrying on the struggle for justice for everybody who has been oppressed and needs our help. If there is one thing we can do to save the whole world it is to fight for justice. We will work hard together to close Guantánamo and every unlawful facility run by any government worldwide. Justice has no colour or religion or race.

I promise all of you good people — those whose names I know, and those whose names I do not know — that my heart and my spirit feel your thoughts of justice. I care for you all.

Yours sincerely,

Shaker Aamer ISN 239

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, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), 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.

102 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    Pauline Kiernan wrote:

    How wonderful that he looks so well.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Monique D’hoohge wrote:

    so wanna hug him… hope he is settling in well at home….

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Saleyha Ahsan wrote:

    Wow marshaAllah

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Sara Hussain wrote:

    What a great day

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Sarah Kay wrote:

    I am still feeling extremely overwhelmed by photos of him as a free man – in the most joyous and positive way. I never thought I’d see it happen. I don’t think I’ll get over the guilt of not managing to reach that day any sooner and spare him the pain. I’m glad he’s alive and that you’re here to relay his thoughts to us, Andy. The fight for justice continues.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Sara Hussain wrote:

    Until Guantanamo is shut down the fight for justice continues

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Elizabeth Ferrari wrote:

    Thank goodness. A ray of light in a dark time.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Save Shaker wrote:

    I’m so glad to see him smiling! I see the fire and the passion still burns within him to fight for Justice, i look forward to the day when i see him on the circuit (whenever he feels his ready) alongside the likes of Moazzam Begg, talking about the issues relating to the War on Terror and of course, inviting him to come and speak in Yorkshire.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Nasr UL Islam wrote:

    Andy – your a good man..god bless

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Sara, Elizabeth, Save Shaker and Nasr. It’s so wonderful to hear from him.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Here’s Shaker’s photo and message on the We Stand With Shaker website: http://tmblr.co/ZJJ72m1xuTvDH

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Jessy Mumpo wrote:

    Wonderful, he looks so much stronger than I could have imagined. He has such a strong spirit, it’s pure joy to see him free and speaking up for justice already.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Andi Vincent wrote:

    Hello Shaker 🙂 Thanks for sharing Andy

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Adeel Naeem wrote:

    Thank you Andy!

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Jakub Barat wrote:

    This one photo shows how strong Shaker is more than thousands of words. Thank you Andy for making this possible

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Paula Simpson wrote:

    It’s so good to see him free. He looks very relaxed.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Lubna ‘Bonnie’ Karim wrote:

    Beautiful smile – a strong spirit shining though…..
    Thank you Andy

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks Jessy, Andi, Adeel, Jakub, Paula and Lubna. Great to hear from you all, and thanks for all the lovely comments.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    After Sarah Kay shared the photo, and reiterated, “I never thought I’d see this day,” O wrote:

    It’s wonderful to see his release be a reality, isn’t it, Sarah, after all those years of wondering if it would really ever happen.

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    Sarah Kay wrote:

    Exactly. it’s still unreal, and even more so that he has time to release those messages! I’m glad you tackled those pieces in the Sun and the Telegraph, trying to attack a man who’s already been through so much. i hope he’s well!

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, he seems to be recovering remarkably, Sarah. Lion-hearted, as Roger Waters says.

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Mahfuja Bint Ammu wrote:

    no one will truly know how much Andy Worthington & Joanne MacInnes done to get our brother Shaker back into the limelight, back into the media’s attention and back into our thoughts and actions. The amount of time and effort, lack of sleep, hard work they dedicated towards securing Shaker’s release, may Allah bless them with the beautiful Deen. Thank you to both of them x

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for the lovely, supportive comments, Mahfuja!

  24. Andy Worthington says...

    Sheena Corbyn Smith wrote:

    Gosh im a bit teary, what an amazing man

  25. Andy Worthington says...

    Denise Crew wrote:

    What a lovely message from a lovely man. 🙂 I Wish you a long, happy and peaceful future Shaker.

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    Asif Rana wrote:

    Ditto ^^^. Amazing!

  27. Andy Worthington says...

    Javier Rodriguez wrote:

    Thanks for sharing. What a lovely message and great human being. Inspirational. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw the 239 at the end…….. I guess it’s his sense of humour coming through. Please thank Mr Aamer for the lovely message and wish him well.

  28. Andy Worthington says...

    Helen Roden wrote:

    Shaker you look amazing, so well! How lovely of you to make time to thank people, I hope you’re doing as well on the inside as you seem to be outwardly 🙂

  29. Andy Worthington says...

    Charmaine Dolan wrote:

    Wish him well, Andy 🙂

  30. Andy Worthington says...

    Javier Rodriguez wrote:

    I hope the Telegraph and the Sun pay Mr Aamer for publishing the above photo in their papers tomorrow. To compensate him a little bit for their usual depressing non-journalistic drivel …… i mean reporting.

  31. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Sheena, Denise, Asif, Javier, Helen and Charmaine. So delighted to be able to make this available to everyone who has supported him. It was very important to him to thank everyone!

  32. Andy Worthington says...

    Jane Probett wrote:

    A lovely message. Wishing you a happy and fulfilling future Shaker.

  33. Andy Worthington says...

    Emma Louise wrote:

    Al-Hamdulillāh (praise the lord) .. Be free and happy my dear brother. May Allāh SWT shower you and your family with his blessings in this world and the next and to grant you all the highest ranks in Jannat (Heaven) Aameen Ya Rabb

  34. Andy Worthington says...

    Amina Al-Ghariba wrote:

    May Allah aza wa jal bless him and his family and release the Prisoners Brothers and sistas Allahuma Ameen!!

  35. Andy Worthington says...

    Rose Boudreau wrote:

    May God bless you and your family!

  36. Andy Worthington says...

    Donia Isted wrote:

    AL HAMDOLILAH
    ALLAH HU AKBAR
    ALLAH MAKE EVERYTHING EASY FOR YOU AAMEEN YA RABB

  37. Andy Worthington says...

    Kulsum Burhani wrote:

    Fantastic to hear from him, what a beautiful smile mashaAllah!

  38. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jane, Emma, Amina, Rose, Donia and Kulsum. Great to hear from you all. So wonderful to be able to bring you this news from Shaker.

  39. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    Now this is a lovely photo of Shaker given willingly. And his eloquent words match his smile.

  40. Andy Worthington says...

    I love that “given willingly,” Ann, in contrast to the paparazzis’ photos – although they also captured very well his spirit and his kindness. It seems to be impossible not to!

  41. Andy Worthington says...

    Aaf Post wrote:

    Very Happy to see Shaker. Great that he takes back the control over his life.

  42. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, it’s inspiring, isn’t it, Aaf? Great to hear from you!

  43. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:

    Brilliant, so excited to read… thanks Andy… may Allah bless and reward our brother

  44. Andy Worthington says...

    Ruth Gilburt wrote:

    Lovely to read, Andy x

  45. Andy Worthington says...

    Dejanka Bryant wrote:

    So nice to read his words. Thanks Andy.

  46. Andy Worthington says...

    You are most welcome, Carol, Ruth and Dejanka. I’m very touched by how Shaker wanted to reach out to everyone who has supported him – and that very much includes you three, of course!

  47. Peter B. Collins says...

    Heartwarming!

  48. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Peter. Yes, indeed!

  49. Andy Worthington says...

    Paula Simpson wrote:

    Thanks Andy for these updates, it’s really good of you. Please pass on our love and warm wishes to Shaker and his family

  50. Andy Worthington says...

    I hope I get the chance soon, Paula!

  51. Andy Worthington says...

    Kathleen Kelly wrote:

    I hope he can heal. Thanks again, Andy for your tireless work.

  52. Andy Worthington says...

    Sanchez Montebello wrote:

    Sharing.

  53. Andy Worthington says...

    Veetmaya Julietta Cochrane wrote:

    Extraordinary that anyone can survive an ordeal of this magnitude. Thanks for all you have done Andy. All the best to Shaker and his family …

  54. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Kathleen, Sanchez and Veetmaya. Great to hear from you!

  55. Andy Worthington says...

    Joanne MacInnes wrote:

    Isn’t it so cool! We did it everybody. We got this man out. Now stick with us while we try and get justice for Shaker’s brothers still there

  56. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes indeed, Joanne! Looking forward to it!

  57. Andy Worthington says...

    Jocelyn Ruddell wrote:

    Great to read….

  58. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jocelyn. Great to hear from you.

  59. Andy Worthington says...

    Jim Birdsall wrote:

    I am touched by Shaker’s message. It would be great to meet him one day.

  60. Andy Worthington says...

    Maybe you will, Jim!

  61. Miss Galliwagd says...

    I am humbled and inspired by your peacefulness and determination to do good. You could be the opposite, but you are obviously an outstandingly strong human being.

    Deep respect & love for you and your family

    Live long & well

    Miss galliwags

  62. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for the message, Miss Galliwags. I’m sure Shaker will be delighted.

  63. Andy Worthington says...

    Jo England wrote:

    It is so good to see him at least physically free. It turns my stomach every day that he is left with not only so many scars and a medical battle to face but also a fear of doctors. Trust me, there are those of us who abhor being associated with a government that could allow such treatment. I hope in time he comes to find some peace and is allowed to recover as best he can.

  64. Andy Worthington says...

    David Gould wrote:

    When you are ready we want to hear your words too.

  65. Andy Worthington says...

    Karina Friedemann wrote:

    So happy to see him so relaxed.
    God bless the British people for organizing his release.

  66. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jo, David and Karina. Great to hear from you all.

  67. Andy Worthington says...

    Nusrat Raouf wrote:

    God bless every one who helped free brother Shaker.

  68. Andy Worthington says...

    Lorna Singh wrote:

    What a smile he has !!! I’m sure he knows how much we want to hear from him……..Thank you —Andy…

  69. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Nusrat and Lorna. Great to hear from you.

  70. Andy Worthington says...

    Andrew Fifield wrote:

    Thanks Andy – great to see Shaker smiling, and looking well

  71. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes indeed, Andrew!

  72. Andy Worthington says...

    Anita Gwynn wrote:

    Doesn’t he have a lovely smile? Warm. Glad the years haven’t embittered his face.

  73. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, he evidently has some profound inner strength, Anita – although I think we knew that from his messages over the years!

  74. Andy Worthington says...

    Lara Homaidan wrote:

    A brave man, what an inspiration. I’m so happy that he is finally back home.

  75. Andy Worthington says...

    Paulina Phillips wrote:

    Thanks for sharing x

  76. Andy Worthington says...

    Adele Kirby wrote:

    Welcome home Shaker.

  77. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Lara, Paulina and Adele. Great to hear from you all.

  78. Andy Worthington says...

    Brigid Mary Oates wrote:

    I am so happy.. if is wonderful of him to message us. Be good to meet him one day.. but for now he needs his space xxx

  79. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Brigid Mary. Good to hear from you.

  80. Andy Worthington says...

    Marion Heads wrote:

    A giant among men

  81. Andy Worthington says...

    Nice, Marion!

  82. Andy Worthington says...

    Heidi Lucken wrote:

    Welcome Home!

  83. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Heidi!

  84. Andy Worthington says...

    Farouk Khan wrote:

    Masha’Allah he is looking normal and well.

  85. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, Farouk, he certainly is.

  86. Andy Worthington says...

    Dejanka Bryant wrote:

    I think it is shock for him. Like when you lose your dear family member. You think you can deal with a grief. It comes afterwords and is so painful. Really painful. 14 years of prison in Guantanamo, after being severely tortured, Shaker is going to be hit so hard soon. No doubt about it.

  87. Andy Worthington says...

    I wouldn’t be so sure, Dejanka. I think he may be able to cope. I don’t mean to imply that he won’t have his moments, but he’s clearly an extraordinarily strong-wllled individual.

  88. Andy Worthington says...

    Dejanka Bryant wrote:

    Let’s hope you are right, Andy. I wish him all the best.

  89. Andy Worthington says...

    Amatulhaqq Bintibnali translated it into French:

    Voici un sublime message de remerciements accompagné de cette photo envoyé par notre Frère Shaker Aamer à Andy Worthington et Joanne MacInnes… qui ont fait un travail remarquable et ont apporté leur pierre à l’édifice du bien.

    *** * ***

    “Salut Joanne et Andy, pouvez-vous, je vous prie, envoyer le message qui suit à tous ceux qui ont milité avec We Stand With Shaker, et Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, ceux qui ont jeûné pour moi, tous les membres du parlement, et tous les autres que vous savez avoir lutté pour ma libération.”

    « Je ne puis vous dire combien j’aimerais parler à chacun de vous et me tenir à vos côtés, afin de poursuivre la lutte pour la justice pour toute personne ayant été oppressée et ayant besoin de notre aide. S’il y a une chose que nous pouvons faire pour sauver le monde entier, c’est de lutter pour la justice. Nous allons, ensemble, œuvrer ardemment pour la fermeture de ‪#‎Guantanamo‬ et tout lieu d’injustice ouvert par n’importe quel gouvernement à travers le globe. La justice n’a ni couleur, ni religion, ni race.

    Je vous promets à vous toutes nobles personnes – ceux dont je connais les noms et ceux dont je ne connais pas les noms – que mon cœur et mon esprit ressentent vos pensées pour la justice. Vous compter tous pour moi.

    Bien à vous, Shaker Aamer ISN 239. »

  90. Andy Worthington says...

    Merci beaucoup, Amatulhaqq!

  91. Andy Worthington says...

    Amatulhaqq Bintibnali wrote:

    Merci à toi Andy !
    You are a true inspiration for all of us!
    Allah bless you.

  92. Andy Worthington says...

    Michael Bentley wrote:

    That’s incredibly beautiful, Andy – thank you for sharing Shaker’s kind and wise words, and the wonderful photo too.

  93. Andy Worthington says...

    You are most welcome, Michael!

  94. arcticredriver says...

    It is good to see him looking happy. There is a widely circulated photo of him holding his two daughters, when they looked like pre-school age. In that image he looked like he might have weighed 250 pounds. He had a belly. I am afraid he might be at only 50-60 percent of that weight in this picture.

    I look forward to the day his doctors say he is now in good health.

  95. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, he’s lost a considerable amount of weight, arcticredriver, but it suits him, I think – this from someone on a diet for the last three and a half months, who’s lost 12% of his body weight! (me)

  96. Thank you from Shaker Aamer; Support our fundraiser and January Fast | Witness Against Torture | Witness Against Torture says...

    […] celebration was Shaker Aamer’s release to his family and home in the UK. He sent his supporters a message included below – please read it! It’s for you too. You helped get him […]

  97. Anna says...

    How typically kind of Shaker to think of our need to hear from him!
    As I’m right now in a country with fickle power supply & internet to put it mildly, my comment to your previous post never made it so I try again though there is no guarantee this one will get there either:-). I had come across the newspaper pictures of Shaker right after they were published and was appalled by the callousness of the press but I admit also grateful for the chance to see him without the prison paraphernalia. It infringes on Shaker’s privacy, but maybe it also will have the positive effect of showing the broader public what a ‘normal’ and friendly person he evidently is. So immediately saved all the pictures and since then I keep going back to them, savouring again and again the joy of seeing him delivered at least of his physical chains.
    May the brave smile on Shaker’s lips soon also reach his eyes :-).

  98. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Anna, for the lovely message. I was very impressed with the photos, because his kindness and his spirit shone out in them even though he’d just been ambushed by a mob of paparazzi! I also think that his eyes are smiling already, but you may see pain and sadness there that I don’t. It would be impossible, I suspect, for him not to be haunted by his experiences to some extent, but I keep seeing the frankly almost indomitable spirit of the man who made resistance his mission for nearly 14 years. Perhaps I’ll find out soon when, hopefully, I get to meet him.

  99. Andy Worthington says...

    Angel Rock wrote:

    This man Shaker Aamer oozes appeal and charisma .

  100. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Angel. Yes, I think it becomes increasingly obvious the more we see and hear from him that that’s why the authorities didn’t want to release him. What a disgrace – to hold a man for so long because he’s so eloquent and charismatic.

  101. Andy Worthington says...

    Nissi F Lachhab wrote:

    God bless u Andy Worthington and everyone who helped to free him, i wish him the best .

  102. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Nissi. 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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