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  1. ITV Report

Politicians and celebrities urge President Obama to release Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer

Shaker Aamer with two of his children, son Michael and daughter Johninh. Credit: PA

More than 80 prominent Britons, including Patrick Stewart, Boris Johnson and Russell Brand as well as former Government ministers, have used Independence Day to urge President Obama to release Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo Bay.

In an open letter they urge the president to: “facilitate the transfer from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer ... and his return to his family in the UK - his British wife and his four British children”.

It has not escaped our notice that, while the US is celebrating its foundation under the rule of law, the continuing detention of men at Guantánamo – largely without charge or trial – continues to undermine America’s notion of itself and its international standing.

Shaker Aamer has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. Credit: Reprieve

Aamer has already been approved for release twice, the We Stand With Shaker campaign, who released the letter, say.

Russell Brand said: “Barack Obama, who inspired so much hope and has presided over so much pain and disappointment, in this single act of compassion can alter history.”

Signatories of the letter include:

  • Patrick Stewart
  • Russell Brand
  • Roger Waters
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Richard E. Grant
  • Mark Rylance
  • Juliet Stevenson
  • David Morrissey
  • Frankie Boyle
  • Ken Loach
  • Mike Leigh
  • Michael Brearley.
  • Boris Johnson
  • former Attorney General Keir Starmer
  • former Attorney General Dominic Grieve
  • MP John McDonnell (Lab.)
  • MP David Davis (Con.)
  • MP Andrew Mitchell (Con.)
  • MP Jeremy Corbyn (Lab.)
  • MP Caroline Lucas (Green)
  • MP Andy Slaughter (Lab.).