At the AIUK AGM in 2012 a resolution proposed by Canterbury Group was passed overwhelmingly. It stated that AIUK should increase its work on closure of the Guantanamo Detention Centre and should promote the work of other organisations working to confront human rights violations taking place there. A recent AIUK on-line petition concerning Shaker Aamer, emailed to all its members, shows that some action is being taken.
Shaker Aamer, a British resident detained in Guantanamo for 13 years, has never been charged, tried or convicted of any crime. He was cleared for release in 2007 and 2009 but is still there. A number of Amnesty groups have been active in campaigning for Shaker to be returned to his home and family in Battersea and not sent to Saudi Arabia, the land of his birth, where his life would be in danger. Close links have been built up with other groups such as the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign.
Shaker’s mental and physical health have been declining over the years. After a visit in November 2011, his lawyer said, “I do not think it is stretching matters to say that he is gradually dying in Guantanamo Bay.”
With support from many groups The Save Shaker Campaign organised a protest on Saturday 14th February 2015 with a march from Parliament Square to Downing Street, speeches by many prominent activists and a deputation to David Cameron. AI members from Canterbury were represented at the protest. Speakers included Bruce Kent from CND, journalist Victoria Brittain, chair of the SSAC Joy Hurcombe, Andy Worthington who showed his film about Guantanamo at our Guantanamo evening in November 2013 and representatives from Reprieve, the association of human rights lawyers. All called for a renewed effort by the British government to get Shaker released and returned home.
To join in the campaign to release Shaker Aamer visit saveshaker.org