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Videos: Shaker Aamer’s Children Call for His Return from Guantánamo to the UK, and Ask Supporters to Sign Petition to British Government

Andy Worthington

April 16, 2012

Please sign the e-petition calling for the release of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo! And if you can collect signatures and email addresses, please print off copies of the paper petition available here. The deadline to secure 100,000 signatures is May 14. In addition, if you’re in London today (April 16), please join myself, members of the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign and other supporters in Parliament Square, where, from 1-3 pm, we will be greeting the MPs returning from their Easter recess with a demand for Shaker’s release.

As part of the ongoing campaign to secure 100,000 signatures on an e-petition asking the British government to demand the return from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, Sheikh Sulaiman Ghani, the Imam of Tooting Islamic Centre, close to Shaker’s home in Battersea, has produced two powerful promotional videos calling for individuals and families to sign the petition, which needs 100,000 signatures by May 14 to be eligible for a Parliamentary debate.

The front of the flyer to promote the e-petition is posted at the top of this article. Please click on the image to enlarge, and the text of the e-petition — entitled, "Return Shaker Aamer to the UK" — is as follows:

Shaker Aamer is a British resident with a British wife and children who has been imprisoned without trial by the US in Bagram Air Force Base and Guantánamo Bay for over ten years. The Foreign Secretary must undertake urgent new initiatives to achieve the immediate transfer of Shaker Aamer to the UK from continuing indefinite detention in Guantánamo Bay.

The videos, posted below, feature Shaker’s four children, Johina, Michael, Saif and the youngest, Faris, who has never even met his father, and was born on Valentine’s Day 2002 (February 14), the day that his father arrived in Guantánamo, having been seized by bounty hunters in Afghanistan three months earlier. The first video consists entirely of their reflections, and their encouragement for everyone to sign the e-petition, and the second also features commentary by Sheikh Sulaiman Ghani.

Please sign the e-petition if you haven’t already done so, and please ask everyone you know to do so as well. Unfortunately, only British citizens and residents can sign it, although there is no minimum age limit, so children can sign, as well as adults. However, another petition, for an international audience (including the UK) is also available on the influential Care 2 Petition Site.

The priority, however, is to get 100,000 people to sign the e-petition, and to bring to an end the unjust detention of Shaker, who was cleared for release by the Bush administration in 2007, and by President Obama in 2009, and whose return has also been requested by successive British governments since 2007. His release would also break a terrible deadlock at Guantanamo, where no living prisoner has been released for 15 months, since January 2011, even though 89 of the remaining 171 prisoners have been cleared for release.

As mentioned above, if you would like to collect signatures, please print off copies of the paper petition available here. These can then be sent to the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign for inputting (email for address or phone 07756 493877). Please be advised that, when collecting signatures, you should let signatories know that they will be required to respond when they receive an email asking them to validate their signatures.

For further information, including requesting flyers (which are currently out of print), please email info@saveshaker.org, and if you would like to make a donation to print more flyers, or to cover postage and packing for the 100,000 flyers already sent out, please donate to: the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, the Co-operative Bank, sort code 08-92-99, account number 65467002, swift CPBKGB22. Or send your donation to: SSAC Treasurer, 15 Reynolds Close, SW19 2QJ.

Andy Worthington is 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. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in June 2011, "The Complete Guantánamo Files," a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new "Close Guantánamo campaign," and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

:: Article nr. 87336 sent on 17-apr-2012 01:57 ECT


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