Why is Shaker Aamer still in Guantanamo?


All the other UK Guantanamo detainees have returned home. President Obama’s pledge to close Guantanamo by January 2010 has not been met but, gradually, detainees are being transferred to countries willing to accept them. They are detainees, cleared for release, who can not return home. Shaker Aamer’s case is different. He has a home in Battersea, wife, four young children and family members waiting for his return.

So why is Shaker Aamer still in Guantanamo? Why is he still there after more than 8 years, many of them spent in solitary confinement?

 In June 2007 the US cleared Shaker for release, without charge. In August 2007, the UK Government requested his release and return and since then, it has “strenuously repeated that request.” Ultimately, the Government says, Shaker’s return is a decision for the US Government. So, the UK points the finger at the US. Neither wants responsibility for his shameful treatment.

Is the Government really making urgent demands for Shaker’s return?

It can’t be that difficult for a Sovereign State to require the return of one of its long-term legal residents. President Obama wants Shaker Aamer to be rendered to Saudi Arabia, a country he fled from as a teenager, over 20 years ago. There he would be silenced. Shaker’s only wish is to come home to his family in the UK. If the Government really wanted the return of Shaker Aamer, he would have been returned long ago.

Is the Government delaying Shaker’s return because he has a story to tell?

Is the Government willing to have Shaker locked up to silence him?

Shaker’s US lawyer, Brent Mickum, believes that is the case.  He says, “As long as he is in Guantanamo, he can’t talk and I can’t talk. He is still being tortured down there. And if he ends up dying down there, I have to say there is blood on British hands.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Like Shaker states that he was subjected to brutal torture and interrogation abroad in the presence of, or with the knowledge of, the UK M15/M16 agents. He is a witness and a victim in cases before the courts which could show that the Government’s policy may have violated international law.  

Is that why Shaker is still in Guantanamo in the harshest of conditions? 

His mental and physical health is deteriorating. Please help campaign for his release before it is too late.

Please help Shaker Aamer and his family.

Write to

Foreign Secretary David Miliband,

King Charles Street, London SWIA 2AH

email him at   private.office@fco.gov.uk