The story of Shaker Aamer and Guantanamo

The prolonged campaign for the release of Battersea resident Shaker Aamer, a Guantanamo Bay military prison inmate, resulted in success. It is now five years to the day since he was released from prison after serving 13 years without charge or trial. We have followed the case of Shaker Aamer in detail since the completion of Outside The Law: Stories from Guantanamo in 2009 up to his arrival at Biggin Hill airport on 31st October 2015. Here are all our Guantanamo campaign videos which chronicle the series of events surrounding this story of injustice.

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

Documentary telling the story of Guantánamo, extraordinary rendition and secret prisons, focusing on the stories of three prisoners, Shaker Aamer, Binyam Mohamed and Omar Deghayes.

It examines how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, rounding up prisoners in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for large bounty payments), and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism; for example as missionaries or humanitarian aid workers. Focusing on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (still detained. November 2009), Binyam Mohamed (released, February 2009) and Omar Deghayes (released, December 2007).

The documentary provides a powerful rebuke to those who believe that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and that the Bush administration was justified in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by holding men neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights, but as “illegal enemy combatants” with no rights whatsoever.

The film contains interviews with former prisoners (Moazzam Begg and, in his first major interview, Omar Deghayes) lawyers for the prisoners (Clive Stafford Smith in the UK and Tom Wilner in the US), and journalist and author Andy Worthington, and also includes appearances from Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, a London-based Imam, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

“Outside the Law is a powerful film that has helped ensure that Guantánamo and the men unlawfully held there have not been forgotten” – Kate Allen , director Amnesty International UK

February 2012 – Tuesday 14th marked 10th anniversary of Shaker’s detention, which was marked in England by a series of protests, and in Guantanamo by a hunger strike.

Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice

Also available in Spanish here

Spectacle has made this short film about Shaker Aamer to mark the 10th anniversary of his incarceration.

Shaker Aamer was one of the 171 men held in detention in Guantanamo Bay. Despite never having had a trial, having been approved for release twice, and a growing number of people from all walks of life campaigning for him, Shaker was remained in detention (released from prison on 30th October 2015). His physical and mental health deterioration is a prevalent concern. During the 10 years that Shaker Aamer has been incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, he’s has never been charged, and he has never denied his innocence. He has continuously lobbied for the welfare of other Guantanamo inmates from within the system. Many believe that this, and his potential as a witness to U.S. human rights abuses, are the reasons he still remains captive.

Through conversations with activists and former detainees; the film paints a picture of who Shaker Aamer is, the injustices he has endured and what his life has involved for the last decade. From Bagram and Guanatanamo Bay prisons, to the unknown dark prisons throughout the world, Shaker Aamer’s story illustrates the lengths to which the U.S. and U.K. governments will go to justify their despicable War on Terror.

Shaker Aamer, time is running out.

The Shaker Aamer Campaign held a protest vigil for Shaker Aamer on Wednesday April 9th 2014 in Parliament Square to bring him home.

Not another day in Guantánamo

London Guantanamo Campaign Demonstration in Trafalgar square on May 23rd 2014. Interview with Aisha Maniar, London Guantanamo Campaigner and organizer of the event, and Noel Hammel, Chair of Kingston Peace Council.

Eleven years in Guantanamo

This video is an interview with the lawyer Clive Stafford Smith about Shaker Aamer.

Shaker Aamer finally released from Guantanamo

Video interview on the day of his release with Shaker’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, founder/director of justice charity Reprieve at Biggin Hill airport.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice (New Version) and Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Or visit our Guantánamo project and Shaker Aamer project pages for more information and videos.

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Shaker Aamer finally released from Guantanamo

Today Shaker Aamer was finally released from Guantanamo and arrived at Biggin Hill Airport south London. Due to his 14 years of torture and ill treatment he immediately went to hospital for a check up and will later today hopefully be reunited with his family, including his teenage boy whom he has never met.

Spectacle, having followed his story since 2007, was at Biggin Hill and spoke to Clive Stafford Smith his lawyer and Founder/Director of justice charity Reprieve .

Clive was not informed that his client was arriving and used flight tracker to find out where he was landing. Shaker Aamer is a key witness to extensive human rights abuses including collusion in torture by both US and UK security services. Many believe this is the main, or only, reason he was not freed immediately he was cleared for release back in 2007 and again in 2009.

From Clive’s interview you get a sense of the tremendous character and strength of Shaker, his determination that no one else should experience what he went through. He does not want vengeance on his torturers and tormentors but a full inquiry into the people and powers behind the treatment of so many innocent people at the Guantanamo prison.

Visit our Vimeo channel and watch our collection of films and short videos about Shaker Aamer and Guantanamo.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Or visit our Guantánamo project  and Shaker Aamer project pages for more information and videos.

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Lush’s Charity pot helps Save Shaker Aamer Campaign

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics company has a campaign supporting charities concerned with human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection. And now, one of those charities is Save Shaker Aamer.

shaker-aamer-charity-pot

In 2013, Charity Pot donated over £2.5 million to organizations around the world. The funding generated by Charity Pot sales is essential for the survival of independent groups. All of the proceeds, minus VAT, are donated to independent grassroots charities like East Kent Against Fracking to lobby against planning application; provided Stop The Cull with binoculars to locate shooters in ‘cull zones;’ and helped rental advisory group Digs, host a series of training events to build a campaign against exploitation by private landlords.

Lush has made a video talking about some of the charities that they support and why and how they do that.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Video of Save Shaker Aamer Campaign protest

The Shaker Aamer Campaign held a protest vigil for Shaker Aamer on Wednesday April 9th in Parliament Square and they walked to the Foreign Office calling for the urgent release and return to the UK of British Resident Shaker Aamer, who is still held unlawfully in Guantanamo. The Shaker Aamer Campaign is still fighting to bring him back home with demonstrations around London explaining to people what is happening.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Time is running out. Save Shaker Aamer Campaign protest on April 9th in Parliament Square

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SAVE SHAKER AAMER CAMPAIGN PROTEST VIGIL FOR SHAKER AAMER, “TIME IS RUNNING OUT”

The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign will hold a protest vigil for Shaker Aamer on Wednesday April 9th in Parliament Square, opposite Parliament, from 1pm to 3pm. Wearing orange boiler-suits and black hoods, campaigners will walk to the Foreign Office, King Charles Street, to hand in letters to the Foreign Secretary William Hague calling for the urgent release and return to the UK of British Resident Shaker Aamer, who is still held unlawfully in Guantanamo.

shaker postcard z 2011

The vigil will continue opposite the Foreign Office where they will read passages from Shaker Aamer’s own words. He has found ways to send a series of letters and messages to his family and the world even from his steel cell in Guantanamo. His poignant words tell of his daily brutal treatment by the guards, his sadness of not being able to be with his children to show his love for them and his hope that, in the end, truth and justice will be restored and the black stain of Guantanamo will end.

No one can forget the dignity and wisdom of his words even as he suffers the torture of solitary confinement and casual brutality of daily injustice. No one should forget Shaker’s cry from his steel cell, as recorded by CBS in November last year.

Please, we are tired. Either you leave us to die in peace – or tell the world the truth. Open up the place – let the world come to visit. Let the world hear what is happening. Tell the world the truth.”

Shaker Aamer has been held in Guantanamo for over twelve years without charge or trial in Guantanamo. He has suffered harsh treatment and torture. He was cleared to leave Guantanamo in 2007 and 2010. The UK Government has called for his release and return to the UK as a matter of urgency, President Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo but still there is no news of Shaker Aamer’s return.

Time is running out for Shaker. He has been in Guantanamo for over twelve years. His lawyer Clive Stafford Smith has written to William Hague and stated that Shaker Aamer “is gradually dying in Guantanamo.” His health is of great concern. He has many serious conditions and suffers daily brutal treatment by the guards. At times he despairs of an end to his ordeal. Time is running out for justice and freedom for Shaker. The UK Government must act now to bring him home.

The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign 01903 206588 / 07756493877

 

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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SAVE SHAKER AAMER CAMPAIGN DEMO FEB. 14th MI6 BUILDING, VAUXHALL, LONDON SE1 7TP

PRESS RELEASE FOR THE SAVE SHAKER AAMER CAMPAIGN DEMONSTRATION ON FEBRUARY 14TH 2014, OUTSIDE THE MI6 BUILDING, VAUXHALL, LONDON SE1 7TP

February 14th marks the day, twelve years ago, that Shaker Aamer was cruelly transported from Afghanistan to Guantanamo. The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign will hold a protest vigil opposite M16 from 1pm to 3pm to demand Shaker Aamer’s release and return from Guantanamo to the UK.

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It is widely reported that M15 and M16 may be secretly briefing against Mr. Aamer to block his return, in an attempt to suppress any further allegations that UK agents have been complicit in torture abroad. Shaker Aamer has stated that UK agents were present when he was tortured in Afghanistan. He had been in Afghanistan for only a few months working for a charity to establish schools and projects to help poor communities.

After 9/11, the US and UK bombed Afghanistan and offered bounties to Afghan villagers for foreigners who remained in their midst. Over 600 men were abducted, tortured and rendered to Guantanamo. Now, twelve years later, British Resident Shaker Aamer is still there, in chains, in solitary confinement, despite facing no charge or trial. He was cleared to leave Guantanamo over six years ago by the unanimous decision of six US security agencies including the CIA, State and Defense Departments. In September 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote to President Obama to

“make it clear that we want Shaker Aamer released and returned to the UK as a matter of urgency.”

If MI5 and MI6 are lying about Mr. Aamer to prevent his return, they are acting against the will of Parliament. Their statements must be retracted. Mr. Aamer has been threatened to be forcibly transferred to Saudi Arabia, a country he fled from over 30 years ago. There he would be silenced forever. The UK Government has recognized Mr. Aamer’s right to return to the UK as a long-term British Resident. All the other Guantanamo British Nationals and Residents have been released to their homes and families in the UK.

All of them have made allegations of complicity of torture against the UK security services which have yet to be investigated. It is time for the Government to have a public inquiry into all these allegations as was promised three years ago. Shaker’s allegations must also be heard, NOT SILENCED.

SSAC will be protesting on this sad day to demand an end to Shaker’s ordeal. As it is also Valentine’s Day, SSAC will be presenting a card to Sir John Sawer, Chief of MI6, stating that “MI6, we would love you to … help us bring Shaker Aamer home. Shaker Aamer, unlawfully imprisoned and tortured in Guantanamo for twelve years – he faces no charge or trial- he has been cleared since 2007 to leave Guantanamo. So why is Shaker Aamer still there? Shaker Aamer would love to be at home with his wife and family in the UK. M16, you could help. Tell the truth about torture! MI6 have a heart, don’t block Shaker Aamer’s release to the UK from Guantanamo.”

Further details from The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign 07756493877

 

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Shaker Aamer’s story to be screened October 13th

While Shaker Aamer has still not been released, has not met his youngest son Faris, Guantanamo has not closed and the hunger strike is still going on, Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice will be screened on Sunday 13 October at 11am.

shakerkidsborder

The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Dan Thea, Mau Mau Justice Network, Mark Saunders and Joy Hurcombe, Chair, Save Shaker Aamer Campaign

This is an initiative of the London Socialist Film Co- op. The organisation promotes socialist culture by arranging screenings where people can see films and take part in a panel discussion.

Spectacle made this short film about Shaker Aamer to mark the 10th anniversary of his incarceration.

Through conversations with activists and former detainees; the film paints a picture of who Shaker Aamer is, the injustices he has endured and what his life has involved for the last decade. From Bagram and Guanatanamo Bay prisons, to the unknown dark prisons throughout the world, Shaker Aamer’s story illustrates the lengths to which the U.S. and U.K. governments will go to justify their despicable War on Terror.

Shaker Aamer is a Saudi Arabian citizen with Permanent Resident status in Britain and was born and raised in Medina in Saudi Arabia. He left the country at the age of 17, living and travelling in America, Europe and the Middle East. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1996 where he met his British wife, Zin. They married in 1997 and have four British children, all of whom live with their mother in Battersea, South London.

Interested in visiting the screening? Click here for the address.

Or order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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The Last Briton in Guantanamo: “Gitmo guards are sexually assaulting me”

In a declassified phone conversation with his lawyer, Shaker Aamer mentioned daily re-occurring “forced cell extractions” in the notorious Cuban prison.

For the search detainees are ordered to lay down on their stomach, put their hands behind their back, cross their legs and not resist the team. Knowing that refusing to do what he is told by the guards means getting beaten up, Shaker Aamer says that it is important to make a stand, however pointless it might seem to be.

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I won’t come in from the rec [recreation] cage without being forced to. I have said what I want to do: just sit there for a week, doing nothing, just sitting. It’s about as non-violent, non-problematic protest as you could imagine, but they won’t let me do it.” Shaker Aamer

Resisting detainees are subdued by six FCE (Forcible Cell Extraction team) guards. To shut a shouting detainee up, a guard will push his pressure pints, shackle arms and sometimes legs by steel or plastic shackles. Every arm or leg move of a detainee caused by pain is treated as resistance to the team.

They flip me over for the search. Mostly, that’s just an assault, sometimes a sexual assault. We call it the Gitmo massage,” Mr Aamer said. “There is meant to be a board, like a wooden stretcher, and they are meant to roll me on. But now they don’t have them. Now they carry me like a sack of potatoes, which is really painful for me.” Shaker Aamer

The prison also continues torturous force-feeding practices by feeding the hunger striking inmates through nasal tubes, even during Ramadan. US military authorities maintain that force-feeding is lawful and is aimed at saving the lives of those on hunger strike.

This article is sourced from The Independent, please click here to read the full story version.

 

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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CNN Update: Shaker Aamer on the Guantanamo Hunger Strike

CNN Update: Shaker Aamer on the Guantanamo Hunger Strike

A CNN video report uncovers the latest insight into the Hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay. The report features testimony from Shaker Aamer, the last British resident to remain at Guantanamo despite never being charged for any alleged crime, and having twice been cleared for release in the past.

Shaker Aamer describes how inmates at Guantanamo (himself included) feel it is necessary to continue the on going Hunger strike which is now approaching four months,  in an attempt to finally secure the closure of Guantanamo.

The CNN video also describes the suffering that Shaker Aamer has experienced from being force fed, and explains the just cause for hunger striking when life inside Guantanamo is so intolerable that prisoners see no other option but to remain on hunger strike.

“I do not want to be force fed, I don’t want to die either, but this is a living death here in Guantanamo, so if I have to risk death for principle, this is what I want to do.”  – Shaker Aamer

The video also features Moazzam Begg, Former Guantanamo inmates and now a worker for an advocacy group Cage Prisoners. His appearance in the video places further pressure on the US Government to get Guantanamo closed down, remarking on the poor treatment of the inmates:

“They don’t get clean drinking water. They are getting stripped searched constantly. Sprayed in the face with pepper spray. Rubber bullets. All of that is true. But that’s not why they are doing this. They are doing this because there is no hope.” – Moazzam Begg

Meanwhile a speech by President Obama has questioned the US Military in their response  that “forced feeding is being continued so that inmates are kept alive”. Obama says “Is this the America we want to leave our children”

It appears therefore that the 103 prisoners on Hunger strike will not give up their quest to secure the closure of Guantanamo, while the US Military will continue to force fed them. For Shaker Aamer – prisoner 239, there is a strong determination to return home to his family after eleven years in Guantanamo. Shaker furthermore, shares his confidence for the hunger strike to be a success:

“This place is going to close sooner or later”… Don’t wait for too much longer or there is going to be dead people down here, and that’s not good for anyone.”

“I have been called 239 for so long, I fear my children my have to call me by a number for a while.” – Shaker Aamer

A Q&A with Shaker Aamer can also be viewed on the CNN page, along with related clips, and related headlines.

 

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Frankie Boyle on Hunger Strike over Guantanamo

Frankie Boyle on Hunger Strike Over Guantanamo

Original Article Source: Click Here

Last week comedian Frankie Boyle went on hunger strike in support of the 103 prisoners that are on a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay.

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Image sourced from www.list.co.uk

Frankie Boyle has now joined forces with Clive Stafford Smith; a lawyer who went on Hunger strike recently in support of his client Shaker Aamer, the only British resident to remain held at Gutananamo. It has now been over a week since Clive Stafford Smith began his hunger strike.

The Stand Fast for Injustice Campaign is run by a group called Reprive. This campaign encourages the idea of hunger striking to rally support for the prisoners held in Guantanamo who continue to be force fed by the guards to keep them alive.

As a supporter of Reprive, Frankie Boyle donated the £54,650 that he was granted following a Daily Mail lawsuit last December. It has now been reported that this week, the actress Julie Christie has this week done the same thing in an effort to further promote the injustice of Shaker Aamer’s imprisonment.

Follow what Frankie Boyle said about his hunger strike so far on his Twitter page. There is also lots more information about Clive Stafford Smith’s hunger strike on the Save Shakar Aamer campaign, as well as other related articles and an online petition.

Order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Visit the British comedy guide for further new stories and features.

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