PRESS RELEASE: New Guantánamo documentary on UK tour


Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo


New Guantánamo documentary on UK tour

Focuses on prisoners whose torture has been exposed by UK courts and is being investigated by police

Former prisoner Omar Deghayes and journalist Andy Worthington will be speaking at screenings across the country

“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” is a new documentary film, directed by filmmaker Polly Nash and journalist Andy Worthington (author of The Guantánamo Files). The film focuses on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (released in 2009) and Omar Deghayes (released in 2007) — and the tour coincides with a mounting scandal involving British complicity in torture, which focuses on Shaker Aamer and Binyam Mohamed.

On 10 February, the UK Court of Appeal ordered the release of a summary of documents revealing that US agents had tortured Binyam Mohamed while he was held in Pakistan in 2002, and that the British government knew about it. Foreign secretary David Miliband had tried to suppress this summary for 18 months. MI5’s involvement in Mohamed’s case is now being investigated by the Metropolitan Police, and on 19 February it was revealed that the Met is now investigating claims that Shaker Aamer was tortured in US custody in Afghanistan, while British agents were present.

Tour dates

Saturday February 27: National Film Theatre, South Bank (organized by the BFI)
Monday March 1: LSE, London
Thursday March 4: Roehampton University
Friday March 5: Oxford Brookes University
Tuesday March 9: Bradford Playhouse
Wednesday March 10: Norwich
Thursday March 11: Sheffield Hallam University
Tuesday March 16: SOAS, London
Wednesday March 17: UCL, London
Thursday March 18: The University of Kent, Canterbury
Monday March 22: The University of Dundee
Tuesday March 23: The University of Aberdeen
Wednesday March 24: Edinburgh
Thursday March 25: Glasgow

Further dates to follow.

About the film

“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” tells the story of Guantánamo, and includes sections on “extraordinary rendition” and secret prisons, explaining 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.

“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.

For further information, interviews, or to inquire about broadcasting, distributing or screening “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” please contact Andy Worthington or Polly Nash.

“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” is a Spectacle production. The tour is arranged by Spectacle, the Guantánamo Justice Centre and Andy Worthington.

For full tour details, see here.

DVDs are available to buy from Spectacle.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (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, updated in January 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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