PJ Harvey has recorded an exclusive song in support of the last remaining British resident in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay. ‘Shaker Aamer’ is available here as a free download and stream.
Here’s what it says on PJ Harvey’s official website
Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s Director and lawyer for Shaker Aamer, said: “We hope that people listen to this song and think about Shaker Aamer’s plight: detained for eleven long years at Guantanamo, 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 I only hope that, with the support of the public, he will one day be able to listen to it in freedom.”
Shaker Aamer has been detained in Guantanamo since 2002. He has four British children – the youngest of whom he has never met – and a British wife who all live in London. The UK government has repeatedly stated that they want Shaker back in the UK and last week the US announced it is to restart transfers from the prison, beginning with two Algerian men. Yet Shaker remains locked away without charge or trial. He is one of over half the detainees on hunger strike in protest at their indefinite and illegal detention.
“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.
Your friend, Shaker. Guantanamo Bay.”
© 2013 Hothead Music Ltd.