Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Free Shaker Aamer!

By New Worker correspondent

Protesters demonstrated outside Parliament last week demanding the release of Shaker Aamer, a British resident who has been held  in the illegally occupied  US  Guantánamo Bay base in Cuba since 2002. The protest on 24th April followed a parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall in the morning.
The US government claims he was supporting the Taliban, but Aamer says he was only doing charity work.  He claims – echoing similar allegations by US detainees and victims of kidnapping and rendition – that he was tortured in Afghanistan, including by US personnel, and while British officials were present.
 Shaker, who has a British wife and four British children, was cleared for release in 2007. But Aamer still languishes in the American concentration camp and  he believes he may never be released because of an alleged "secret deal" between US authorities, Saudi Arabia and the British security services. At the time of his capture, in Afghanistan, he had indefinite leave to remain in Britain and had applied for British citizenship.
Shaker, together with at least 130 other prisoners held in the concentration camp have been on hunger strike for weeks. Some have been force fed others while others, accused of darkening windows and blocking spy cameras and  were fired on with rubber bullets when they refused to be moved.
The United States opened the prison camp at the Guantanamo Naval Base in 2002 to jail prisoners taken when US-led imperialist forces invaded Afghanistan branded as  “terrorist suspects”  U.S. President Barack Obama did not meet his 2007 electoral promise to close the camp, described by many as a "black hole" in terms of respect for civil rights.

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