There’s a superstitious part of me, and a worried part of me. And both parts of me fear this Saturday: it marks thirteen years since Shaker Aamer was airlifted to Guantanamo.
My fear is that in Congress, the fear-mongers who are seemingly relentless in their drive to keep Guantanamo open forever—and to keep Shaker Aamer in detention without charge until he dies. They are encouraging public panic and anxiety over the prospect that anyone at Guantanamo might either go free or face a fair trial.
The distorted logic of the fear-mongers is that the individuals at Guantanamo are nameless threats—not individuals at all. For them, men like Shaker Aamer have no human story: no past, no children, no parents. And so, they have no future except a cell at Guantanamo.
Here are three must-watch videos that reveal the larger, urgent truth: The United States must either fairly try or release every person still detained at Guantanamo, including Shaker Aamer.
1. “It’s Him Today, It Could Be Us Tomorrow”
In the UK, there is wide-ranging support for bringing Shaker home to Britain — to be reunited with his family, including a son he has never met and who was born on the day Shaker was airlifted to Guantanamo. In this new SkyNews segment, Britons speak about their work on behalf of Shaker.
Indeed, the U.S. government cleared Shaker for transfer years ago, in 2007. There are concerns about Shaker’s deteriorating health condition.
2. Shaker’s Hunger Strikes
Shaker Aamer has repeatedly gone on hunger strike, along with at least 100 other detainees, to protest his treatment. In 2013, The Guardian put together this heart-wrenching video animation on life inside Guantanamo and treatment of hunger strikers, based on statements from five detainees, including Shaker.
Amnesty International is calling for an immediate investigation of all allegations that Shaker Aaamer has been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, and urging that anyone found responsible is brought to justice.
3. Shaker’s Cry for Help
In 2013, a CBS News crew encountered Shaker, crying out from his cell in Guantanamo’s Echo Block, where prisoners are held in isolation. “Tell the world the truth,” he shouted. “Open up the place. Let the world come and visit. Let the world hear what’s happening.”
Take action – Tell President Obama: Shaker Aamer Must Be Released or Fairly Tried.