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Shaker Aamer: August 2013 (It Feels So Strange to Feel My Name Slipping Away from Me)

My name is Shaker. I am also known as Sawad Al-Madany because I was born in the Holy City of Medina. Please can you remember these names for me, because I hardly can anymore.

Here, they call me 239. In fact, I call myself 239. It feels so strange to witness my name slipping away from me. I can’t do anything about it.

I wonder how long it is going to take for all of us here in Guantánamo to slip away from the world’s memory?

I have not lost hope. No, I have not! Or have I? I am not sure. But I am still writing: is this not a sign of hope?

Yes, we have lost years of our lives here – and some (three times as many as have been convicted) have actually died.

We have lost our sanity, our health, our humanity and our dignity. Yes, we seem to have lost everything.

But I believe we are gradually rediscovering hope and, with hope, we will relocate our lives and everything else that is meaningful.

Meanwhile our tormentors are losing everything and, the more they lose, the more they torment us. I can’t describe what they are doing. The world must hasten to compel the US government to solve this dilemma before it is too late. Candles cannot burn forever.

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Posted by on August 3, 2013 in Letters from Shaker Aamer, Risala

 

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What Have You Done in the Last 11 Years?


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For Johina Aamer, her brothers and her mother, the technical aspects of Shaker Aamer’s case come second to their daily worry: they have not been with Shaker for 11 years – soon to be 12 years. Everything else becomes peripheral to this. This family just wants their father home and a wife wants her husband back. It is easy to dismiss 11 years as another statistic to this case without really thinking about how long it is. So Johina wants to ask you: “What have you done in the last 11 years?”

Our upmost gratitude to all who featured in this video in support of Johina.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Collateral Damage, Videos

 

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Shaker Aamer: مبارك عليكم الشهر

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Eid Card 2012
Shaker Aamer, ISN 239, Guantanamo Bay Prison

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Sketches

 

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Don’t They Deserve Their Father?

Please make dua that these children are reunited with their father. Sign the petition (UKInternational) to demand his release.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2012 in Campaigns, Videos

 

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Shaker Aamer Denied Passage Home as Torture Continues

A decade after its vengeful establishment, a post-Bush incarnation of the Guantanamo nightmare persists, continuing to cage 166 Muslim prisoners. One of them is Britisher Shaker Aamer, kept in isolation in Camp 5 Echo. A Decade of Injustice examines possible motivations for keeping Shaker Aamer detained and why his return is urgent.

It is more urgent than ever that we demand his release as Shaker’s recent testimony reveals that abuses at Guantanamo are ongoing:

On July 20, 2011, he reports: ‘The authorities told us, “You’ll have a beautiful Ramadan.” It was in Camp 5, and they said there would be no showers, and no recreation.

They tortured another guy using the nose tube, until he cried. They kept him on a stretcher, with a slow drip on the feed. I banged on the door when this was happening, then fainted from my own lack of eating. I was taken to hospital.’

In a brief explanation of the sleep deprivation, he has stated that he was “sleeping in light,” and there was “no darkness to sleep.” The lighting, as is typical, has been on “24/7″ — and he has also been confined to his cell for 22 hours a day, with just two hours allowed in the recreation yard from 6 am to 8 am every day.

He has explained how he cannot sleep because the guards have been “speaking loud through the night with all kind of noises — cleaning, moving things, shaking the locks of the cell, turning the light on and off,” and how they have also regularly shone a flashlight in his face, and liberally spread detergent like pine oil or Clorox. He has explained how the strong smell fills his cell so that he can’t breathe.   Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Campaigns, Videos

 

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What Would You Say?: Uhibbuka Fillah

Moving recollections from former detainees on those still trapped in Guantanamo.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Campaigns, Videos

 

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Britain’s Guantanamo Survivors are Suffering a Toxic Legacy

After years of imprisonment, victims of America’s ‘icon of lawlessness’ were released without charge, but their lives have been shattered

Britain’s freed detainess, from left, Asif Iqbal, Jamil El Banna, Jamal al-Harith, Feroz Ali Abbasi, Bisher al-Rawi, Shafiq Rasul, Rhuhel Ahmed and Martin Mubanga. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer

They call each other “brother” and the warmth between them is tangible. Not close friends as such, they come from different walks of life, cultures and backgrounds, but have been thrown together by a shared experience. They are Britain’s survivors of Guantánamo, the detention centre that has been called the “gulag of our times”.

All were imprisoned, interrogated and held without charge or trial; some allege that they were tortured; all have suffered lasting effects to their mental and physical health.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the first detainees arriving at Guantánamo Bay detention camps, where the open-mesh and barbed-wire cells became synonymous with the abuse of human rights and the scandal of illegal rendition. The camp was called an “icon of lawlessness” by Amnesty International because inside its high-security fences all conventions of international justice, from the Geneva Convention to access to legal representation, were ignored.

Still in operation despite Barack Obama‘s pre- and post-election pledges to close it, Guantánamo now houses 171 prisoners, including the last remaining British resident, Shaker Aamer. In total nine British citizens and six British residents were among the 774 adults and children imprisoned in Guantánamo camps, built on a US naval outpost on the southeastern tip of Cuba to house the “enemy combatants” of George Bush‘s war on terror.

All bar Aamer were released back to the UK without charge. All were interviewed by the British authorities on their return and allowed to go back to whatever remained salvageable of their lives and were later awarded out-of-court compensation for their extrajudicial ordeal. Four have had their travel outside the UK restricted.

Any involvement the men may or may not have had with the fighting in Afghanistan or with any terror plots has never been proved. Most, says Guantánamo expert and author Andy Worthington, were “a bunch of nobodies”.

“One tries to stay very objective in taking an overview of Guantánamo, but at the end of the day it’s pretty evident that all but a handful of the people caught up in the trawling approach the Americans took post-9/11 in Afghanistan were not terrorists,” he said.

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in News Items

 

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