Imagine, gathered under one roof, over a dozen men who were once regarded as the most dangerous people on the planet – and a man who once guarded them, breaking their Ramadan fast together with lords and baronesses, poets and writers, activists and lawyers and students and children on a summer’s eve in London’s Kensington area – in its town hall to be exact. This is precisely what happened at the “Beyond Guantánamo” fundraising event hosted by Cageprisoners last Sunday.
Among the five hundred or more attendees were the wife and children of Shaker Aamer, a man held captive without charge in Guantánamo for eight years. Shaker’s wife gave me a copy of the latest letter she received from her husband – over a year ago – part of which I read to the audience:
Yes I lost a lot of weight, yes I have a lot of sicknesses, yes I’ve got short sight, yes my bones are aching, yes I got white hair, yes I got old, but my heart is still young, my mind still strong – a lot stronger than ever. My soul’s got the biggest wings to fly and help others to fly. I am a lot wiser, a lot [more] patient, a lot [more] knowledgeable, a lot [more] merciful, a lot [more] loving and caring, a lot [more] helpful. I feel I can change the world to be a better place. I feel I can restore justice so we can have peace and love amongst each other.
And what crime has Shaker committed for which both he and his family are paying such an astronomical price? [continued…]