On Saturday December 4, I’ll be following up on my recent appearance at the Amnesty International Student Conference with a presentation entitled, “Nine Years of Guantánamo: What Now?” at “The Rights Time,” an Amnesty International regional conference, taking place at the Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA, from 10 am to 5 pm. Tickets cost £6 (£3 concessions) and can be booked online here. I’m talking at 2.30 pm, but I must stress that the organizers have put together a fascinating collection of speakers and performers who should ensure that the entire conference is a rewarding experience.
The full list of speakers and performers is below:
9.30 am: Registration/drinks.
10.00 am: Introduction.
10.10 am: Can Ordinary People Really Make a Difference? Steve Crawshaw
Steve Crawshaw is International Advocacy Director at Amnesty International and co-author of recently published Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World.
10.50 am: Spoken word by Inua Ellams
Inua Ellams is a word and graphic artist.
11.05 am: Break.
11.15 am: The AIUK Greeting Cards Campaign: Ruth Dawson
Ruth Dawson is a member of the Individuals at Risk Team at Amnesty International UK. Please see here for a video of former Guantánamo prisoner Omar Deghayes discussing the importance of receiving cards and letters from supporters.
12.30 pm: Lunch (1st floor). In the main auditorium, there will be local groups, the greeting cards and letter writing campaigns, and arts4humanrights.
2.00 pm: Binyam’s Mohamed’s Story: presented by Iceandfire theatre
iceandfire theatre explores human rights stories through performance, and this performance focuses on the testimony of Binyam Mohamed, the British resident, seized in Pakistan in April 2002 and released from Guantánamo in February 2009, who was subjected to “extraordinary rendition” and torture in Pakistan, Morocco and Afghanistan before his transfer to Guantánamo in September 2004.
Artistic Director Christine Bacon will speak about the company’s work.
2.30 pm: Nine Years of Guantánamo: What Now? Andy Worthington
Andy Worthington is an investigative journalist and author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and co-director of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.”
He will be discussing President Obama’s apparent paralysis regarding the closure of Guantánamo, the ferocious and unprincipled opposition to his plans from Republican lawmakers, the right-wing media and members of his own party, fundamental misconceptions about Guantánamo that have still not been addressed nearly nine years after the prison opened, and how Amnesty members can make a difference in the UK by campaigning for the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident still held in the prison.
3.30 pm: Htein Lin displays and speaks about his work as a Burmese artist
Htein Lin’s work has been shown and performed globally: he is now based in London.
4:00 pm: Keynote speaker: Zoya Phan
Zoya Phan (Burma Campaign UK, The Phan Foundation, The Karen Community Association UK and the author of Little Daughter) speaks of her personal experience and work to improve human rights in Burma.
Also: Musical interludes provided by Floey Bennett and Glenn Basset
Floey is a violinist based in South London: Glenn is from Enfield Amnesty group.
4.45 pm: Close.
5.00 pm: Drinks.
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) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. 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 July 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, currently on tour in the UK, and available on DVD here), and my definitive Guantánamo habeas list, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, Imran Chaudhry wrote:
Keep up the good work Andy
Uzma Aslam Khan wrote:
Am telling all my UK friends. WIsh I could attend.
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Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. 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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