Please Read My First Article for Al-Jazeera America, Asking Why Shaker Aamer Is Still in Guantánamo


The header for my first article for Al-Jazeera America,  "Why is Shaker Aamer still at Gitmo?" published on November 25, 2014.Dear friends and supporters,

I’ve just written my first article for Al-Jazeera America, “Why is Shaker Aamer still at Gitmo?” and I’m very much hoping that you have the time to read it, and to share it on Facebook and Twitter.

Following yesterday’s launch of the We Stand With Shaker campaign, I’m delighted to be able to get the word out about Shaker’s plight via Al-Jazeera America.

In my article, I run through the history of the prison’s labyrinthine review processes and the reasons why the release of prisoners has become a shameful game of political football, and I look at the particular reasons why both the US and UK governments are not being honest about Shaker’s case.

I think this provides a succinct and powerful overview of why Shaker has not yet been released — and of what Guantánamo is and remains, and why it will always be a legal, moral and ethical abomination until it is shut down for good.

As we are pointing out through the We Stand With Shaker campaign, in Shaker’s case there is no excuse for the US government to continue holding him (having twice approved him for release) and no excuse for the British government not to demand his immediate release (having requested it since 2007). Indeed, there is no excuse for the Prime Minister, David Cameron, not to immediately send a plane to collect him to bring him home to his family in the UK.

So please, read and share my article, and continue supporting the campaign. Like and share us on Facebook (we’re currently aiming for 1200 likes), follow us on Twitter, send in photos of yourself holding placards in support of Shaker to the website, write to David Cameron, Philip Hammond, Barack Obama and other senior officials to demand his immediate release, phone Joanne MacInnes, the campaign coordinator, on 07867 553580 if you are a high-profile campaign supporter and you want to be photographed standing with our giant inflatable figure of Shaker, and please also watch and share the campaign video, posted below via YouTube, which features my “Song for Shaker Aamer” played by my band The Four Fathers, and which was filmed and edited by the talented young film student Billy Dudley:

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer and film-maker. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, the 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 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. 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.

7 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Gill Mosley wrote:

    Whats the excuse for detaining him?

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    The excuse is that they don’t have to release him, Gill – there is no automatic mechanism for having to release an “enemy combatant” unlike someone who has been charged, tried, convicted and sentenced in a court, or someone who is being held as a PoW until the end of hostilities. The “war on terror” still appears to have no end.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Christine Anderson wrote:

    Why is this man still being illegally held ? Why are the newspapers not covering this injustice, and our government doing nothing about it ?

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Your cry about the injustice of it all strikes to the heart of all the illegality of the “war on terror”, Christine. This is what happens when a government – the Bush administration – goes rogue, other governments join in or turn a blind eye, and no one in a position of power and responsibility is held accountable.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Barbara Cummings wrote:

    Wonderful news, Andy!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:

    Excellent article Andy, well done… also London Progressive Journal published my Shaker piece “‘We Stand With Shaker’: Tortured, ill, detained in Guantanamo, join new campaign to bring him home”:

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Barbara and Carol for the supportive words. And great that you got another outlet for your article about Shaker and the campaign, Carol.

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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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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