Andy Worthington Discusses Guantánamo This week – Birmingham, London
konknaijagirl | On 20, Mar 2013
Please sign the e-petition calling for the British government to secure the return to the UK from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, who has been cleared for release since 2007. 100,000 signatures are needed by April 20.
With a huge hunger strike taking place at Guantánamo, the prison is on the mainstream media’s radar more than it has been for many, many months, if not years — and, in the UK, it is also time for there to be a renewed focus on the case of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison.
Despite being cleared for release under President Bush and President Obama, Shaker is still held, even though he is the one prisoner, out of 86 prisoners cleared for release but still held, who could — and should — be released immediately. Congress has raised obstacles to the release of prisoners to any country that can be regarded as dangerous, but few, if any lawmakers would dare to argue that Britain fits that category.
In the UK, the ongoing detention of Shaker Aamer continues to appal those who have been campaigning for his release for many years — and the British government’s persistent claims that they are doing all they can to secure his return do not sound convincing. Last year, Shaker’s family launched an e-petition asking the British government to explain how, as America’s closest ally in the “war on terror,” it cannot secure Shaker’s return to the UK, to his British wife and four children, and there is now just one month to go for campaigners to try and ensure that the petition gets 100,000 signatures so that it is eligible for a Parliamentary debate. Please note that only British citizens and residents can sign it, although there is no lower age limit, so all family members can sign. Anyone anywhere in the world can sign the international petition here.
As part of a week of action on behalf of Shaker Aamer, I’m taking part in three events this week — I’m in conversation with my friend, the former Guantánamo prisoner Omar Deghayes, at the University of Westminster in London tomorrow (Tuesday March 19), and, on Thursday (March 21), I travel to Birmingham to discuss Guantánamo, the hunger strike and Shaker Aamer at the University of Birmingham. Both events are organised by the respective Amnesty International student societies. On Saturday, I head to Tooting, in south London, for a day of action organised by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, to secure signatures for the e-petition, where I will be joining other campaigners including the journalist Yvonne Ridley, Jean Lambert MEP, Jane Ellison MP (Shaker’s constituency MP), Joy Hurcombe (the chair of the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign), Imam Suliman Gani of Tooting Islamic Centre, and Shaker’s family.
The full details are below:
Tuesday March 19, 6pm: Andy Worthington in Conversation with Omar Deghayes
University of Westminster, Room 358, Regent Street Campus, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW.
This event is organised by Westminster University Amnesty International Society, and features a discussion between independent journalist and Guantánamo expert Andy Worthington and former Guantánamo prisoner Omar Deghayes, who was held from 2002 until 2007. Omar and Andy have made numerous appearances together over the last few years, and in 2010 undertook a UK tour to promotes the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” co-directed by Andy and Polly Nash, in which Omar featured prominently. See the Facebook page here.
Thursday March 21, 5pm: Andy Worthington Speaking About Guantánamo and Shaker Aamer
University of Birmingham, Lecture Theatre WG5, Aston Webb Building, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT.
This event is organised by Birmingham University Amnesty International Group and the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS). Independent journalist and Guantánamo expert Andy Worthington will be discussing the hunger strike at Guantánamo, the case of Shaker Aamer, his work as a media partner of WikiLeaks in the release of classified files relating to the prisoners in 2011, and his visit to the US in January as a member of the steering committee of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign. See the Facebook page here.
Saturday March 23, 12 noon to 5pm: All Day E-Petition Action for Shaker Aamer with Andy Worthington, Yvonne Ridley, Jean Lambert MEP, Jane Ellison MP, Joy Hurcombe, Imam Suliman Gani and Shaker Aamer’s family
Outside Tooting Islamic Centre, 152 -156 Upper Tooting Road, London SW17 7TJ.
This event, designed to gather as many signatures as possible for the Shaker Aamer e-petition, which ends on April 20, is organised by the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, with the generous support of Tooting Islamic Centre. Throughout the day, the speakers will also be addressing supporters and passers-by, to provide education and inspiration. For further information, please contact the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign on 07756 493877.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr (my photos)and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign”, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free tomake a donation.