Thursday, 8 August 2013

P J Harvey releases Guantanamo Protest Song for Shaker Aamer


Pj Harvey last Saturday released a new song to highlight the ongoing detention of the last British resident held inside the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.
The track, called Shaker Aamer, is available to stream  on behalf of the campaigning group Reprieve, which you can find a link for here:-
It follows her politically charged album from 2001 'Let England Shake' which explored the horrors of war, and continues to cement her reputation as one of Britains finest songwriters. This new song describes the agony of it's title subjects four month hunger strike as he endures the prison's feeding tubes, restraining chairs and shackles.
Aamer has been detained in Guantanamo for more than 11 years , despite being cleared for release in 2007, and remains imprisoned without charge or trial. He has a British wife and his four children - the youngest of whome he has never met - were all born in Britain. They live in Tooting, south London.
The British government has repeatedly stated that it wants him back in the UK and only last week under mounting international pressure , the US announced it is to restart transfers from the prison. Concerns remain, though , that Aamer might be forced to be sent to Saudi Arabia and imprisoned there instead of being reunited with the family in the UK.
More than half the detainess inside Guantanamo Bay remain on hunger strike in protest at their indefinite and illegal detention. Aamer has recently alleged that prison guards had been sexually assaulting him and that he is subject daily to often violent 'forced cell extractions'.
Aamers lawyer : Clive Stafford Smith , Reprieves director and Aamers lawyer, said " We hope people listen to this song and think about Shaker Aamer's plight: detained for 11 years, without charge or trial, despite having been cleared for release by both Bush and Obama."
" The UK government must do everything it can to bring Shaker back home to his wife and kids in London, where he belongs. PJ Harvey has written a wonderful song - I know Shaker will be deeply moved by it, and hope that, with the support of the public, he will one day be able to listen to it in freedom."
 Here is a link to a Shaker Aamer campaigning group, which will lead to various petitions and campaigns conducted on his behalf:-

Shaker Aamer

No water, for three days.
I cannot sleep, or stay awake.

Four months hunger strike.
Am I dead, or am I alive?

With metal tubes we are force fed.
I honestly wish I was dead.

Strapped in the restraining chair.
Shaker aamer, your friend.

In Camp 5 eleven years.
Never charged. Six years cleared.

They took away my one note pad,
and then refused to give it back.

i can't think straight, I write, then stop,
Your friend Shaker Aamer. Lost.

the guards just do what they're told,
the doctors just do what they're told.

Like an old car i'm rusting away.
You're friend Shaker, Guantanamo Bay.


  1. Why is this the problem of the UK, this chap is a Saudi citizen. He has a residence visa for the UK nothing more.

  2. That is true, he has roots here though, at the end of the day he is a citizen of the world, who has spent the last decade without justic, still not charged with a single crime. Regards.