Celebrities and Members of Parliament will join a hunger strike to show their solidarity with terror suspect Shaker Aamer, a Saudi Arabian citizen with legal resident status in the UK, who is due to be released from Guantanamo Bay within weeks.
As part of the Fast for Shaker campaign, actors such as Mark Rylance, Maxine Peake, ‘Wolf Hall’ star Mark Rylance and ‘The Walking Dead’ star David Morrissey will join with MPs David Davis and Andy Slaughter to deprive themselves of food for an entire day.
Mr Aamer’s family, who will be also partaking, said: “Thank you all so much for taking part in this fasting. We are touched. Our family we will be joining in the fasts with all of you. Let’s all bring Shaker home.”
— We Stand With Shaker (@StandWithShaker) September 21, 2015
He told The Mail on Sunday in a phone interview: “I know there are people who do not want me ever to see the sun again. It means nothing that they have signed papers, as anything can happen before I get out. So if I die, it will be the full responsibility of the Americans.”
Andy Worthington, co-director of the We Stand With Shaker campaign, said: “After the great news that Shaker Aamer is to be released from Guantanamo, we were all disturbed to discover that he is on a hunger strike, and wanted to show solidarity with him, and to encourage him to give up his hunger strike.
“We very much hope that he will be released at the end of the 30-day period required by Congress before prisoners can be freed, but we will continue with the hunger strike if he is not. After nearly 14 years in US custody, treated brutally and never charged or tried, Shaker needs to be back with his family in London.”
Mr Aamer has not been charged with a crime, but is a suspected terrorist accused of leading a unit of Jihadist in Afghanistan. In US military files obtained by WikiLeaks, he was described as a “close associate of Osama bin Laden” who fought in the battle of Tora Bora.
He denies any wrongdoing. Instead he says he was merely working for a charity in Afghanistan when 9/11 occurred, and that he was kidnapped.
Mr Aamar is a Saudi national, but his wife and four children are British and reside in Battersea, London. The British government has lobbied long and hard for his release, including a formal request to the US by then foreign secretary David Miliband.