Save Shaker Aamer campaign boosted as fund-raising to negotiate Guantanamo release nears target

Shaker Aamer from Battersea was taken to Guantánamo Bay in 2002 on the same day his fourth child was born now desperate campaign groups are fund-raising to negotiate his release.

Mr Aamer was taken to the infamous prison on Valentine’s Day and today marks his 4818th day as an American detainee.

The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign is on course to reach its £5,000 target to fund a delegation of MPs to visit Washington D.C.

Campaign treasurer, David Esbester, said: “He has been cleared twice by different American administrations for release.

“They simply won’t unlock the doors and let him out.”

With four days left to go the Crowdfunder campaign has reach 98% of its target by raising £4,920 from 85 generous backers.

A successful pledge would see one delegate from Labour and the Conservatives travel to Washington D.C shortly after the election to negotiate Shaker’s release.

Labour MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn, has confirmed he will be Labour’s representative while the Conservatives are still deliberating over their delegate.

The politicians will meet with various officials and campaigning groups but will ideally meet directly with the Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter.

“Thirteen years in Guantanamo, subject to the most terrible abuse, is far too long.”

They hope the new Defence Secretary will hopefully be more proactive than his predecessor Chuck Hagel who declared in February that the case wasn’t ‘even on his desk’.

This came after President Obama told David Cameron during the Prime Minister’s visit to America that he was ‘prioritising’ the issue.

Mr Shaker’s lawyer and Director of human rights organisation Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith, expressed his disgust.

He said: “The US Defence Secretary’s admission that Shaker’s case isn’t even on his desk suggests that Obama’s claims to be ‘prioritising’ it may be little more than weasel words.

“If the US government wanted to ‘prioritise’ invading a country they could do it in a week, so sending one man home to his family in London cannot be too much to ask.”

Mr Shaker’s return has become an increasingly urgent matter as his health is deteriorating.

His Reprieve case worker, Katie Taylor, said:  “Thirteen years in Guantanamo, subject to the most terrible abuse, is far too long – it’s high time that Shaker Aamer was returned to his British wife and children in London.”


A recent fear to hit the Aamer family is that Shaker could face rendition to the country of his birth, Saudi Arabia.

Mr Esbester said: “Shaker has said himself they would have to ‘drag him kicking and screaming’ which they could probably do.”

“There is no absolutely no reason why he should be transferred to Saudi Arabia.”

“Everybody will fight against that tooth and nail. He is a British resident. His wife and four children are British citizens.”

Vigils in Parliament Square have taken place every Wednesday for the last few years to highlight the campaign to MPs in session.

Dressed in what they call their ‘Guantánamo uniform’, the protestors adorn themselves in orange boiler suits and black hoods.

To recognise Shaker’s 14th year of detention a cage based on the Guantánamo cages will be erected in Trafalgar Square on May 16th.

Protestors will endure the cage for 14 hours to signify Shaker’s imprisonment and raise awareness of the campaign before the delegation hopefully sets off for America.

Related Articles