As Battersea’s Shaker Aamer met fellow British ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees outside the American Embassy on Monday, January 11, his unusual methods to keep spirits high were revealed, writes Joe Roberts.
Mr Aamer would often sing Bob Marley to himself and fellow prisoners, becoming Guantanamo’s crier-in-resident as he sang ‘Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!’ Speaking at the reunion, he recounted the three months back in Battersea and his 14 year struggle.
January 11: Battersea’s Shaker Aamer pays tribute to those who campaigned as he settles into life in Wandsworth
November 4: “Now we campaign for the last 54”: Supporters of Battersea father Shaker Aamer turn their attention to remaining Guantanamo prisoners
October 27: Shaker Aamer could be reunited with family in Wandsworth in days
Mr Aamer said his mental strength comes from the people around him but his happy nature is not always the case.
He said: “When you look at an egg you don’t know if it’s really boiled or raw, you have to smash it.
“I lived a lot of hardship when I was young and that prepared me for the future.
“I came out of Guantanamo stronger.”
Mr Aamer’s smiling, joking and endless talking sat starkly in contrast with the monolithic embassy behind him as he brought Barack Obama’s seven year failed promise to close Guantanamo to attention.