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Return Shaker Aamer to the UK from Guantánamo: Major publicity campaign launched to secure 100,000 signatures on UK e-petition

Written by Andy Worthington Thursday, 08 March 2012
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Please sign the e-petition (British citizens and residents only).

 

This is the image that, from next week, will be on postcards distributed the length and breadth of the UK, and handed out in universities and colleges, in mosques and churches, and at protests and other gatherings, to secure 100,000 signatures on an e-petition launched by the family and lawyers of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo. Entitled, "Return Shaker Aamer to the UK," urges the government -- and, specifically, the Foreign Office and the foreign secretary William Hague -- to "undertake urgent new initiatives to achieve the immediate transfer of Shaker Aamer to the UK from continuing indefinite detention in Guantánamo Bay."

 

The e-petition needs 100,000 signatures by May 14 to secure a response from the British government, and in order to achieve this, campaigners are drawing up plans to repeat the successful campaign to secure a Parliamentary debate about Babar Ahmad, the British citizen who has been held in the UK without charge or trial for eight years pending extradition to the US. Over 140,000 signatures were secured for Babar Ahmad last year, triggering a debate in Parliament that facilitated high-level discussions about the fundamental problems regarding the extradition agreements between the US and the UK, and throughout the EU.

 

With the support of Reprieve, Cageprisoners, Close Guantánamo, the London Guantánamo Campaign and the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, the campaign to "Return Shaker Aamer to the UK" from Guantánamo is putting out the following message on the postcard-sized flyers which will be available for campaigners to use by the end of next week:

 

British resident Shaker Aamer has a British wife and four British children.

He has been held at Guantánamo for 10 years without charge or trial.

He is held even though the Bush administration cleared him for release in 2007, Obama reportedly cleared him in 2010, and the UK government has been requesting his release for five years.

 

Help us bring this injustice to an end. Please sign the e-petition to demand his release.

 

Please contact us if you would like to receive leaflets, and please feel free to use the image above, or the smaller version here. Also, please feel free to publicise the short URL www.freeshaker.com which redirects to the e-petition, but is, of course, much easier to remember than the full version: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29410. 

 

Please also feel free to download and print paper copies of the petition here, which can be used by campaigners collecting signatures in public. As the campaign progresses we will also need volunteers to input the information from the paper petitions onto the e-petition site, so please let us know if this is something that interests you. 

 

For now, however, let's concentrate on publicising the e-petition via these excellent flyers, and getting as many signatures as possible to secure the release of Shaker Aamer from his unjustifiable ongoing detention in Guantánamo.

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Note: The flyer was designed by Josh King-Farlow, with the support of Close Guantánamo.

Source: Andy Worthington

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