Belfast Telegraph

Harvey backs Guantanamo detainee

PJ Harvey has recorded a song in support of the last remaining British resident at Guantanamo Bay.

The musician, who remains the only artist to win the Mercury Prize on two occasions, has lent her vocals to the track about Shaker Aamer.

Shaker, who grew up in Saudi Arabia, has long been cleared for release by the United States and has never been charged with a crime in the country, according to legal action charity Reprieve.

The prisoner, who has four British children - the youngest of whom he has never met - and a British wife who all live in London, has been held at the Cuban detention camp since 2002.

The song, Shaker Aamer, is available as a free download and stream via SoundCloud.com/reprieve.

Reprieve founder and director Clive Stafford Smith said: "We hope that people listen to this song and think about Shaker Aamer's plight: detained for 11 long years at Guantanamo, without charge or trial.

"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."

PJ's most recent album, the Mercury-winning Let England Shake, had a war theme, inspired by various conflicts and their effects, from Gallipoli to Afghanistan.

Other people in the public eye to have lent their support to Aamer's cause include the comedian Frankie Boyle and the actress Julie Christie who each spent a week on hunger strike to raise publicity for his plight.

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