On Monday November 9, after a screening of the new documentary film “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and myself) at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C., as part of a short US promotional tour, I was interviewed by Tabinda Naeem of UrduVOA News (the Urdu language division of Voice of America) for a feature on Guantánamo entitled, “Guantánamo Detainees Debate.” The feature also includes footage of the event, and an interview with David Cynamon, one of the attorneys for the three remaining Kuwaiti prisoners in Guantánamo, who took part in a Q&A after the screening, along with Tom Wilner (who is featured in the film). A video of the program is available below (via YouTube) for any readers who may be Urdu speakers:
About “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”
“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” is a new documentary film, directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington (and inspired by Andy’s book, The Guantánamo Files). The film tells the story of Guantánamo (and includes sections on extraordinary rendition and secret prisons) with a particular focus on how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, how prisoners were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for bounty payments), and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism (as missionaries or humanitarian aid workers, for example).
The film is based around interviews with former prisoners (Moazzam Begg and, in his first major interview, Omar Deghayes, who was released in December 2007), lawyers for the prisoners (Clive Stafford Smith in the UK and Tom Wilner in the US), and journalist and author Andy Worthington, and also includes appearances from Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, Shakeel Begg, a London-based Imam, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.
Focusing on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (who was released in February 2009) and Omar Deghayes — “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” provides a powerful rebuke to those who believe that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and that the Bush administration was justified in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by holding men neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights, but as “illegal enemy combatants” with no rights whatsoever.
“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” is a Spectacle Production (74 minutes, 2009).
Andy’s book The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison is published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009, and if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
Since some URDU readers may come here, I would like to refer them to an ongoing series of recent items on Dr. Aafia in both Pakistan and USA:
And I would appreciate any suggestions and other items for an Op Ed and Follow-up I plan to write soon.
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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