Shaker Aamer's Daughter Johina's Heartbreaking Letter To Jack Straw Shows How Long He Has Been Gone

A letter written by Shaker Aamer's daughter when she was aged just seven reveals the long and painful wait his family have endured during his 13-and-a-half-year imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay.

Johina, the eldest child and only daughter of 46-year-old Shaker, wrote a heart-breaking letter to then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw ten years ago, pleading with him to release her father, who was held in the camp without charge.

Her letter has resurfaced as Shaker was released from Guantanamo Bay, and is expecting to land on British soil later today to be reunited with his wife Zin and four children - Johina, 18, and sons Michael born in 1999, Saif, born in 2000, and Faris, 13.

Faris has never met his father. He was born on Valentine's Day 2002, the day he arrived at the detention camp.

Mr Aamer was accused of fighting with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan but cleared of this and slated for release in 2007.

During her long campaign to secure his release, Johina shared on Twitter in 2013 a letter she wrote that showed how long he has been gone and how much has changed since she last saw him as a small child.

Johina, Michael, Saif and Faris after seven years apart from their father

She was seven in 2005 when she wrote to then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw appealing for her father's release.

"He used to love me when he was with us. We are all sad and depressed," she wrote.

"Jack Straw Uncle please could you bring my dad back really really and I deserve my dad.

"MY YOUNGEST BROTHER CRYS. My youngest brother never saw my dad. My dad is really, really poor and he doesn't have no money I will give you 10 pounds or 15 pounds only if you bring him back to London."

The letter Johina Aamer wrote to Jack Straw in March, 2005

It is unclear whether Mr Straw formally acknowledged the letter.

David Cameron wrote to Johina in 2013 about her father and she said she was grateful "after being ignored by the Labour government".

Speaking in January this year, Johina told the BBC: "I only have made up memories of the happiness when my dad was with us from what my mum has told me...

"For a long time while, living in London, when I was in primary school, we never had any news about my dad or where he was.

"At the time I didn't know that there could be a place such as Guantanamo Bay and we were all just waiting for my dad to come back.

"During the long thirteen years we have been through a lot, most of which we do not understand. We all hope he is released soon so we can be a normal family again."

Shaker Aamer with his son Michael (right) and daughter Johina (left) in 2001

12-year-old Johina Aamer, second from the right, delivers a petition calling for her father's release in January, 2010

When Mr Aamer was captured, he relayed a message to his wife offering to divorce her but she said: "No, I will wait for you."

His wife has been treated for depression in the time since his capture. Mr Aamer left Saudi Arabia, his country of birth, aged 17 to study in the US and settled in London with Zin in 1996.

When Mr Aamer's release was announced in September, Johina tweeted she could not believe she might see her father again.

Mr Aamer has blogged for The Huffington Post UK via his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who has transcribed their conversations in unclassified phone calls with his client.

In November, 2013, he blogged: "I have a very strong sense of family values, which makes my life in Guantánamo Bay a thousand times worse than it might be. I have four beautiful children who I have not seen for twelve years. My youngest, Faris, was born on February 14, 2002, which was the day I arrived in this terrible place. So I have never touched him, never even hugged him.

"I believe that hugging kids is like a jar that you are filling with love. You need to hug them as much as you possibly can when they are young."

He added: "I do not understand why they won't let me go, and nobody is willing to give me any kind of an explanation. I do not spend too much time looking for an apology for everything that has happened to me here. It is all political.

"They won't admit mistakes. It is all about covering up. I know I will leave here one day, perhaps soon."

Last year, he spoke of a "bitter Valentine's Day" that was both the anniversary of his arrival in Guantanamo and the 12th birthday of the son he had never met.

Shaker Aamer

He spoke of how some of his fellow hunger strikers were being force-fed by tube and he was "numb" as "years are passing like months and months like weeks".

"I feel lonely and lost. Not knowing my future is the worst torture. I am living just to die. I am confused about everything and everyone," he said.

"It is not enough for them to leave us alone with all this pain we are suffering. It is not enough for us to live only with our memories, which bring more pain. Dead people are better off than us. They are living a new way of life, knowing that they are dead and facing the consequences of their past actions.

"But our suffering is endless - and with it, our loved ones' suffering is endless. We are not dead but they forget us after awhile, because they cannot see us or feel us and know how we truly are."