Artist News Releases

PJ Harvey releases Guantanamo Bay protest song

By | Published on Tuesday 6 August 2013

PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey has released a new song in protest against the detention of the last remaining British citizen in Guantanamo Bay, Shaker Aamer.

Aamer from Tooting in South London has now been held in the US prison without charge for eleven years, despite being cleared for release in 2007. The US has said it will once again begin transferring prisoners to freedom, but despite pressure from the British government to return Aamer to the UK, it is feared he will instead be sent to and imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, where he was born.

Like over half of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Aamer is currently on hunger strike in protest against his treatment by the US government. In the lyrics to her song, also called ‘Shaker Aamer’, PJ Harvey recounts his experience of being on hunger strike for the last four months.

Aamer’s lawyer and director of human rights organisation Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith, told The Guardian: “We hope people listen to this song and think about Shaker Aamer’s plight: detained for eleven 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 I only hope that, with the support of the public, he will one day be able to listen to it in freedom”.

Stream and download the song via The Guardian’s website here.

As previously reported, last month Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, appeared in a video in which he was put through the force feeding procedure that Guantanamo’s hunger strikers go through on a daily basis to highlight conditions in the prison.