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Grandmother on hunger strike for Guantanamo prisoners
A GRANDMOTHER from Dorset has completed a week-long hunger strike to support prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
Margaret Owen, 81, an internationally-renowned human rights lawyer, refused all food for seven days after learning of the plight of Shaker Aamer.
The last British resident in the detention camp, Aamer has been held since 2002, without charge.
Mrs Owen, who lives in Pentridge, said: “Should my health have deteriorated, as I was warned it might, it would have been a small thing to risk compared to the life of Shaker.
“It torments me to think that he is younger than my youngest son. How can it be right that this innocent man, a father-of-four, remains locked away in this black hole without any charge?”
The lawyer, an adviser to the Kurdish Human Rights Project and Peace in Kurdistan, also runs charity Widows for Peace Through Democracy.
She said: “Shaker’s wife has been a half-widow this whole time. She is always in my thoughts.”
Mrs Owen drank only water and tea flavoured with lemon during her dramatic week-long stint without food.
She said that, after the third day, her hunger abated, and she would “happily” complete the fast again in the future.
“I would do the fast again. While I wasn’t eating, I was concentrating on everything that is going on in Guantanamo, and it made me feel much closer to Shaker.”
Mr Aamer’s supporters, including actress Julie Christie and comedian Frankie Boyle, have been involved in a hunger strike relay for more than a month.
For more information on Mrs Owen’s charity, visit widowsforpeace.org.
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