Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Fast For Shaker Campaign on London Live

A screenshot of Andy Worthington appearing on London Live with Reya El-Salahi to discuss the launch of the Fast For Shaker campaign on October 14, 2015.Yesterday was busy. In the morning, there was a meeting of the All-Party Shaker Aamer Parliamentary Group, chaired by David Davis MP, with Andrew Mitchell, Andy Slaughter, Tania Mathias and other MPs attending, and representatives of Reprieve, Amnesty International UK (and Naureen Shah visiting from Amnesty International USA), the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, the London Guantánamo Campaign and Joanne MacInnes and myself from We Stand With Shaker.

I then cycled to Kensington to be interviewed on London Live, the TV channel of Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Independent and the Evening Standard, by presenter Reya El-Salahi prior to tomorrow’s launch. This was a great little interview, in which I was able to run through why Joanne and I set up Fast For Shaker, launching outside Parliament (in Old Palace Yard by the George V statue) at 1pm on October 15, an initiative that involves asking celebrities, MPs and concerned citizens around the world to fast for Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, who’s taking part, and what it might mean for Shaker’s family in Battersea.

The interview is posted below, and I hope you have time to watch it, and to share it if you find it useful: Read the rest of this entry »

“I Wish I Was Dead,” Shaker Aamer Says from Guantánamo, as David Cameron Writes to His Daughter

In a desperate message from Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, told one of his lawyers by phone, “The administration is getting ever more angry and doing everything they can to break our hunger strike. Honestly, I wish I was dead.”

Shaker, who was cleared for release from the prison under President Bush in 2007 and under President Obama in 2009, was speaking to Clive Stafford Smith, the director of the legal action charity Reprieve, and his words were reported in the Observer, which also noted his claims that “the US authorities are systematically making the regime more hardline to try to defuse the strike, which now involves almost two-thirds of the detainees.”

As the Observer explained:

Techniques include making cells “freezing cold” to accentuate the discomfort of those on hunger strike and the introduction of “metal-tipped” feeding tubes, which Aamer said were forced into inmates’ stomachs twice a day and caused detainees to vomit over themselves.

The 46-year-old from London tells of one detainee who was admitted to hospital 10 days ago after a nurse had pushed the tube into his lungs rather than his stomach, causing him later to cough up blood. Aamer also alleges that some nurses at Guantánamo Bay are refusing to wear their name tags in order to prevent detainees registering abuse complaints against staff. 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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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