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PJ Harvey Releases New Song ‘Shaker Aamer’ For British Guantánamo Inmate

Written by Tom Williams on 4th August, 2013

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Influential English musician Polly Jean (PJ) Harvey has released a new song, titled Shaker Aamer in honour of the 46-year-old British resident currently being held inside the torturous US prison Guantánamo Bay.

The dark lyrics of Harvey’s new tune speak of Aamer’s constant suffering, his involvement in hunger strikes and the mental anguish caused by his inhumane incarceration.

Aamer has been imprisoned for 11 years without charge or trial, despite being cleared for release in 2007. The British government has appealed the US government to release Aamer, and the US has stated that it will begin to restart transfers from the prison.

Aamer’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith – the director of Reprieve, an organisation which fights for the rights of Guantánamo inmates – told The Guardian:

“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.”

The two-time Mercury Prize-winning PJ Harvey has always had a strong political voice within the British alternative rock scene, and has even been asked to be an ‘official war song correspondent’. Her most recent album, 2011′s Let England Shake, details the pain and suffering of war, and this new material reaffirms that Polly Jean hasn’t lost any of her political back bone.

Aamer has a wife and four children – the youngest of whom he still hasn’t met – living in South London. Supporters are hoping that when he is released he will be sent back to the UK and not to another prison in Saudi Arabia.

(Via The Guardian)

Listen: PJ Harvey – Shaker Aamer

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