MPs to debate return of hunger-striking Guantanamo inmate Shaker Aamer to UK

April 23, 2013

MPs will tomorrow [24 April] debate the return of British resident Shaker Aamer to the UK after an e-petition calling for his return received over 117,000 signatures.

The debate will be held at Westminster Hall and is sponsored by Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea, South London, where Shaker’s British wife and four British children live. Shaker Aamer is the last British resident to be held in Guantanamo Bay despite having twice been cleared for release by the US authorities.

It was recently revealed by human rights charity Reprieve that Shaker has now joined the widespread hunger strike at the prison. US authorities this week increased their estimate of the number of detainees still on hunger strike to 84, although lawyers for the men estimate the real figure to be between 130 and 140 out of the 166 still imprisoned. On 11th April Shaker spoke with his lawyer and Reprieve director, Clive Stafford Smith, and described the treatment to which he has been subjected since deciding to strike. He said that “They are killing us, so it is hard to keep calm…in reality I am dying inside.”

Clive Stafford Smith, said: “Shaker’s own government has been saying that they want him back home to his family where he belongs; yet unfortunately there are subversive forces even in the UK who have a different agenda. Some MI6 agents want him to go to Saudi Arabia where he won’t be able to talk any more to the Metropolitan police about all the things he has witnessed . But a man who has been effectively declared innocent can not be locked away forever to save national embarrassment. Shaker must be returned to London at once.”