Guantánamo: British Ex-Intelligence Officer On Hunger Strike in Support of Shaker Aamer

On Monday, Harry Ferguson, 52, a former officer with MI6, the British intelligence agency, began a week-long hunger strike, as part of the Stand Fast for Justice initiative launched by the legal action charity Reprieve, in support of the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay — and, in particular, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, who continues to be held despite being cleared for release by a military review board under President Bush in 2007 and by President Obama’s inter-agency Guantánamo Review Task Force in January 2010. Others who have been hunger striking as part of the campaign include Julie Christie, the comedian Frankie Boyle, and Reprieve’s Director, Clive Stafford Smith.

Shaker is one of 86 men cleared for release by the task force but still held at Guantánamo, because of a lack of political will on the part of President Obama and obstruction by Congress, and has been part of the prison-wide hunger strike that began in February. At its peak, the hunger strike involved up to 130 of the remaining 166 prisoners. That figure has apparently fallen recently, but 37 men are still being force-fed, a painful process that medical experts condemn as torture.

Explaining his reasons for embarking on a hunger strike in solidarity with Shaker and the other prisoners, Mr. Ferguson gave a statement that ought to shame everyone in the British establishment who has colluded with the Bush and Obama administrations in the lawlessness of the last 12 years, since the 9/11 attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 (The State of London).
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