This is a copy of a follow up letter sent to my local Conservative MP, Neil Carmichael, in response to his response to my original inquiry:
Thank you for your prompt reply to my letter regarding the ongoing detention without charge or trial of British resident Shaker Aamer.
It is heartening to note from your reply the seriousness with which both yourself and purportedly the British government takes this issue. However I note that your otherwise positive response failed to take note of, or respond to, my request for you to take two actions to help secure Shaker’s release or trial.
I write to you now therefore to reiterate those requests to:
- To make urgent representations for a full debate in the House of Commons for the release and return of British resident Shaker Aamer to the UK in accordance with the e-petition process (1).
- To write to the Foreign Secretary outlining that your constituents will not settle for anything short of an agreed and fixed timeline for either the trial or release of Shaker Aamer.
Without actions your supportive words are left as nothing more than well intentioned words.
I understand that ultimately Shaker’s future rests in the hands of the American government but I urge you to do what you can, at this time, to ensure that he doesn’t have to endure one more day in this inhumane legal limbo.
I once again look forward to a timely response by email.
- The Government e-petition requesting “new initiatives to achieve the immediate transfer of Shaker Aamer to the UK from continuing detention in Guantanamo Bay” has so far obtained at least 117,442 signatures. An adjournment debate was held in Westminster Hall on 24th April but this did not lead to immediate action for Shaker’s return.
You can read my original letter to Neil here and you can read a copy of Neil’s response to my original letter below:
Thank you for contacting me about the detention of Shaker Aamer.
I share your concern about Mr Aamer’s continued detention in Guantanamo Bay. I believe it is vital that he is released as soon as possible and returned to the UK so he can be reunited with his family.
The Prime Minister personally raised Mr Aamer’s case with President Obama at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland and later wrote to the President reaffirming the importance the UK places on the request for Mr Aamer’s release. The Former Foreign Secretary, William Hague, also raised the case with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in June this year.
Securing Mr Aamer’s release is a high priority for the Government and I understand that it has been using all diplomatic channels available to communicate this. Foreign Office Ministers have often reiterated that the British Government’s policy is unchanged – that it will support efforts in the United States to close Guantanamo Bay and to seek the return of UK residents and nationals.
While any decision about Mr Aamer’s release ultimately remains in the hands of the United States Government, please rest assured that I will support the UK Government’s efforts as it does all in its power to seek his return.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.