Groups who have campaigned for years for the release of Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre, where he has been held since 2002 without charge or trial, were overjoyed to hear on September 25 that he is to be freed at last, following a 30 day transfer process by the US authorities.
However, relatives and supporters and also his lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, have raised fears that Shaker’s release could be delayed beyond this, following the precedent of other releases from Guantanamo. On hearing the news his family said, “We have been through a terrible ordeal and we ask the British and American governments not to prolong that ordeal any longer and tell us when we can expect our husband, father, and son-in-law to walk back into our lives.” The UK government will send a plane to collect him any time from 24 October as soon as clearance is given.
There are also worries that when Shaker eventually returns home there will be attempts to smear his name, to reduce the credibility of his claims of torture and ill-treatment to himself and others that he has suffered and witnessed while in captivity.
Campaigning groups continue to monitor the process of his release. For further information on his case go to the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign website http://www.saveshaker.org