John McDonnell MP hosted a public meeting on Tuesday 25 November, in the House of Commons bringing together campaigners, lawyers, journalists, politicians, activist organisations and others to continue the pressure on the UK and US governments to bring Shaker Aamer home.
Shaker Aamer has been unlawfully tortured and abused in Guantanamo since February 2002. He has been cleared for release for over seven years. Shaker faces no charge or trial and yet remains held in the prison despite President Barack Obama’s signed executive order, shortly after his inauguration in 2009, to close the detention facility within one year. In Guantanamo, Shaker continues to be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment in absolute denial of his human rights. His lawyers have reported their serious concerns for his health and have said that Shaker is ‘slowly dying in Guantanamo’.
John said “Further parliamentary pressure is urgently needed. In order to coordinate the parliamentary campaign to secure the release of Shaker Aamer I propose to launch a ‘Shaker Aamer’ Parliamentary Group. The inaugural group meeting is scheduled for 1.30pm Wednesday the 10th December”.
John explained “The aim of the Parliamentary Group will be to raise awareness of the realities of Shaker’s incarceration in Guantanamo including the abuse, torture, solitary confinement he has suffered, and his deteriorating medical conditions brought about by long term unjust imprisonment. The group will lobby both the US and UK Governments to explore and take new initiatives to bring about Shaker’s release and safe return to the UK. It will aim to bring Shaker’s plight to the attention of the worldwide media”.
The Parliamentary Group will work alongside well respected organisations such as Amnesty UK, Liberty, the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, and many other political, community, and human rights organisations calling on the US and UK to secure Shaker’s safe return to the UK.