US HYPOCRISY ON HUMAN RIGHTS, GITMO AN “ISLAND” OF INJUSTICE
Shaker Aamer is the last British citizen to he held in Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre, Cuba http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/guantanamo-bay He has been held there since 2002. As his lawyers at Reprieve human rights organization state,
Shaker has long been cleared for release by the United States. He has never been charged by the United States with a crime and has never received a trial. However, he has been repeatedly abused and subjected to extended isolation in Guantánamo Bay.
You can read Shaker’s case in detail here http://www.reprieve.org.uk/cases/shakeraamer/
Shaker has a wife and 4 children and in a week when the world celebrates the birth of a royal baby, one young boy Faris has yet to meet his father.
The following letters are the words of two of his children, released by Reprieve on Wednesday 24th July 2013:-
Detainee: Shaker Aamer
Family members: Michael Aamer (son) & Johina Aamer (daughter)
Residence of family members: UK
My name is Michael Aamer and I am 13 years old. My dad, Shaker Aamer, is in Guantanamo. It makes me so sad to know that even after trying to get him out, he is still in prison. And even though he has been cleared for release, he has been tortured.
I see my dad on skype when we speak to him. Sometimes a guard stands behind him. We have to be very careful about what we talk about—we can only talk about ourselves or the guards will stop the call.
Since I have grown up, I find it very difficult without my dad. I can feel how hard it is for my mum. I can’t imagine how my dad is coping with all the ill-treatment he has been facing.
I always hear my friends talking about how their dads give them treats and presents. I feel really lonely knowing that I am the only one whose dad is away in prison.
I was very little when my dad was taken away, and I hope I won’t have to wait too long before I can see him again.
I am Johina Aamer. For over 11 years now, my dad Shaker Aamer has been detained in Guantanamo. Most men there could never be a threat to anyone. Why is there such injustice?
We all live our lives, passing through every day with food, clothes, and most importantly freedom. Can you imagine being locked up for 10 years? Imagine losing ten years of your life and possibly many more years to come if everyone sits there and does nothing about it. Try imagining being treated like a circus animal in a cage and being taken away from your home and everything you love. It is painful isn’t it?
Well my dad has already been through this and is going through this now. I am fifteen years old, and I was just a little girl when he was taken away. My youngest brother Faris has never even met his dad.
Please Senators, I ask you to do something about it. We are a big family and we do our best to live a normal life, but without dad back home with us, it will never be possible.
Thank-you for your time and attention.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Read Shaker’s experience of torture and humiliation at Guantanamo http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2319550/Guantanamo-Bay-British-inmate-Shaker-Aamer-describes-torture-humiliation.html
Write a letter to your MP calling for the return of Shaker to the UK. Ask what the government is doing in practice to assist his process.
You can also pledge a few hours or days of your time to Stand Fast For Justice where you can adopt a hunger strike in solidarity with campaigners at Guantanamo that are refusing food to highlight inhumane treatment and violations of detainees’ rights. I will be detailing my personal experience of being on a 7 day hunger strike on my blog once completed. Check link and see how you can participate below http://www.saveshaker.org/stand-fast-for-justice/398
DON’T STAY SILENT ON ABUSE
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.