By Paddy McGuffin in England:
Trafalgar Sq protest marks Guantanamo decade
Sunday 08 January 2012
Orange-clad protesters filled London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of the notorious Guantanamo Bay gulag.
Supporters of imprisoned British resident Shaker Aamer and former British resident Ahmed Belbacha were among those demanding its closure two years after US President Barack Obama’s declared deadline for doing so.
One hundred and seventy remain locked up without charge or trial at the camp in an occupied corner of Cuba.
Activists at Saturday’s event organised by the London Guantanamo Campaign, the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Stop the War performed a mock role call using the names and numbers of some of those still imprisoned.
Among those who addressed the event in Trafalgar Square was human rights lawyer Louise Christian, who represented a number of Guantanamo detainees.
She said: “It is not good enough that the US and British governments don’t care” about the remaining detainees, branding it “a disgrace and horror that 10 years on they are still there.”
London Lib Dem MEP Sarah Ludford demanded the full truth on the collusion of EU states including Britain in rendition, torture and illegal detention during the “war on terror.”
And CND general secretary Kate Hudson said that as well as killing up to a million people in illegal conflicts the so-called war on terror – which began following attacks on the US in 2001 – had also seen a massive assault on our civil liberties.
“I can think of no greater attack on civil liberties than Guantanamo,” she said, declaring: “An attack on their liberties is an attack on all our liberties.”
Stop the War convener Lindsey German condemned Mr Obama’s failure to close the “illegal torture camp” at Guantanamo.
“The US has been forced to pull out of Iraq due to the continued resistance and will have to pull out of Afghanistan but Obama is now talking about future wars.
“It is not only time to close Guantanamo but end all these wars.”
Ten Years of Guantanamo: What Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Knew. Jason Leopold, Truthout: To mark the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay prison to house “war on terror” detainees captured after 9/11, Truthout will republish a handful of exclusive reports by Jason Leopold about the facility: here.
Guantanamo Bay survivors will tomorrow mark a decade of human rights abuses at the illegal prison camp: here.
Jason Leopold, Truthout: “There are still 171 detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo. More than half have already been cleared for release. Thirty-six are expected to face war crimes charges and the remainder were deemed by the Obama administration as being too dangerous to release or too difficult to prosecute because the evidence against them is tainted due to the fact that they were tortured”: here.
Chrystal Loyer, Truthout: “One pair [of] gray flip-flops, SPF 55 sunblock, white linen shirt, cabana-style straw hat … Judging from my suitcase, I am destined for some tropical paradise. But I am not headed just anywhere and the contents of my suitcase don’t stop at the above…. Three legal pads, one mini recorder, five copies official military invite to travel letter, one unclassified case docket for Majid Shoukat Khan…. Five days ago, I received notice that I was invited to observe the next military commission to be held on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba”: here.
Dick “The Torturer” Cheney Is Afraid of Protesters in Canada: here.
The Torture Memo Bush Tried to Destroy: here.