Video: Andy Worthington Discusses Shaker Aamer, Guantánamo and Fast For Shaker on the Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC2


A screenshot of Andy Worthington appearing with Joanna Gosling on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC2 on October 13, 2015, discussing Shaker Aamer and the Fast For Shaker launching on October 15.Yesterday morning, I appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC2, to discuss the launch of Fast For Shaker, the new initiative launched by activist Joanne MacInnes and I, the co-directors of the We Stand With Shaker campaign, calling for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison. I’m delighted to report that over 200 people — 188 on the calendar, plus others on the celebrity schedule — have so signed up to Fast For Shaker. The relay fast, with people pledging to fast for 24 hours on a day of their choice — and with a commitment to continue until Shaker is released — begins on Thursday October 15.

A two-minute clip from my interview, with Joanna Gosling, is here, on the Twitter feed for the show.

When I posted it on Facebook, I wrote, “Follow the link and see a two-minute clip of me on Victoria Derbyshire’s show on BBC2 this morning, talking about Shaker Aamer, as the co-founder of the We Stand With Shaker campaign, my hopes that he will be released from Guantánamo within the next two weeks, and our determination to keep pressure on the Obama administration to honour its commitment to release him as soon as the 30-day notification to Congress is up, which we’re doing by encouraging supporters to ‎Fast With Shaker, who is on a hunger strike, for a 24-hour period starting on Thursday.”

The entire show is also on iPlayer for the next month, starting at 36:15 and ending at 43:45.

When I posted the link on Facebook, I explained how, as well as talking about Fast For Shaker, “I also talk about the unreliability of the US government’s so-called evidence, why so many innocent men were seized (because most of Guantánamo’s prisoners were seized by the US’s Afghan or Pakistani allies, at a time when the US was making substantial bounty payments for alleged al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects), and why, even if any of the prisoners had done anything wrong, indefinite detention without charge or trial is unacceptable. if they committed crimes, they should have been prosecuted in a court of law, and if they were soldiers they should have been held as prisoners of war and protected by the Geneva Conventions. Instead, they were deliberately held without any rights whatsoever, and that situation, lamentably, has not essentially changed.”

These are important themes, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk about them. Please read my article, “WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Guantánamo Files, Exposes Detention Policy as a Construct of Lies,” for more information about unreliable witnesses at Guantánamo.

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.

9 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    Saleyha Ahsan wrote:

    FANTASTIC – super proud!!!!!!!!

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Saleyha! It was great to be on the show and I thought it went really well. Hopefully I will be invited on again soon!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    Andy – you were excellent as usual. I imagine we will be seeing more of you on the BBC soon. You looked great too.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Ann. Yes, I thought it went very well. It would be great to get invited to do more BBC shows. Channel 4 News would be good as well.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Anita Gwynn wrote:

    Why isn’t he home yet?

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, exactly, Anita. There are reasons, political reasons, but not anything that resembles a good reason.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    190 people have pledged to fast to date. Ten more high-profile supporters have not yet signed the pledge form, but have told us they’re fasting, so we’ve reached 200! Plus members of Shaker’s family, who are also fasting on Thursday with myself, Joanne​, Clive Stafford Smith​ and 65 other people!
    Join us!

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Waris Ali wrote:

    Great interview, watched it in full. Solid and pertinent contributions as ever.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Waris. Very good to receive such a great thumbs-up 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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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