Jane Ellison, Conservative MP for Battersea, hosts a meeting in the House of Commons (room 15) on behalf of, Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (SSAC). Skaker Aamer is a Guantanamo prisoner being held with out charge or trial for eleven years and counting, a Londoner from Battersea where his wife and four children remain desperately waiting for their father to return home to them. He has never had the opportunity to see his youngest his son. One of the great cruelties of being abducted and detained long term, say survivors, is not being able to see your children grow up.
Eleven years ago British Resident Shaker Aamer was doing charity work, building a girls school In Afghanistan, a progressive and bold undertaking in a country which discourages education for girls. At this time America was offering substantial bounty for foreigners in Afghanistan and thus Shaker Aamer was kidnapped and sold to the Americans. Initially held in Kandahar, Bagram and then Guantánamo where he remains despite being cleared for release in 2007.
The Guantánamo survivors speak very highly of Shaker Aamer who is nicknamed affectionately the Professor because he is knowledgable, highly principled and stands up for the rights of fellow prisoners. However, these qualities are not encouraged by the prison authorities. Indeed, he has received bad treatment and worse. Every day he is unlawfully held fellow Londoners feel more and more disenchanted with the America.
The Parliamentary meeting was attended by many concerned people including the host, Jane Ellison Member of Parliament Conservative Party, Carine Lucas MP Green Party, Clive Stafford Smith lawyer for Shaker Aamer, Gareth Peirce human rights lawyer, Joy Hurcombe from Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, David Harrold from the London Guantánamo Campaign, Ray Silk co-founder of the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, Dan Viesnik human rights campaigner, Mark Saunders, independent filmmaker, Sarah Birch from Amnesty International, Bisher al-Rawi former detainee of Guantánamo, Yvonne Ridley former detainee of the Taliban, and many other campaigners for freedom and liberty.
Jane Ellison, Member of Parliament for Battersea says "I have campaigned on behalf of Shaker Aamer's wife and children, my constituents, since I was elected in 2010. Mr Aamer's detention without charge, now in its eleventh year, is entirely unacceptable. I would like to thank the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, with whom I work, for their efforts to raise the profile of Mr Aamer's case. I will continue to do all I can to see Mr Aamer released back to his family, here in the UK, and welcome the consistent efforts of the SSAC."
Clive Stafford Smith is an attorney for Shaker Aamer, talks at the Shaker Aamer Campaign Parliamentary Meeting. He explores the difference in the American and English languages of the meaning of the words "cleared for release". Also he talks about and encourages others to consider ideas to help Shaker Aamer.
Gareth Pierce the human rights lawyer explains how, legally, Aamer’s state of “indefinite arbitrary detention” itself constituted torture. Also how the American rule details have changed making it virtually impossible for any country to now take, cleared for release detainees.
Bisher al-Rawi a former detainee talks about the heart braking difficulties for the Shaker Aamer family, his wife and children.
Mark Saunders, independent filmmaker with Spectacle Productions, introduces the screening of his documentary film "Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice" at the Parliamentary Meeting.
Other speakers, campaigner against injustice, make contributions to the Parliamentary meeting. Some of those attending the meeting where badges with the, slowly becoming famous, number 239 in solidarity with victim of injustice Shaker Aamer, his Internment Serial Number (ISN) identification number assigned to him by his captors. House of Commons, Westminster. London UK, 29th October 2012
Location: Westminster, London, UK
Photographer: Richard Keith Wolff