Event: Press conference with Moazzam Begg, Andy Worthington and Bartlomiej Jankowski, lawyer for CIA “ghost prisoner” Abu Zubaydah.
Time: Tuesday February 1, 15:00 hrs.
Venue: Kino Muranów, ul. Gen. Andersa 1 (Plac Bankowy, metro “Ratusz”), 00-147, Warszawa.
Last week, it was announced that, from February 1 to 5, 2011, Moazzam Begg, former Guantánamo prisoner and director of the NGO Cageprisoners, and Andy Worthington, investigative journalist and author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison, will be visiting Poland for a tour of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” which Worthington co-directed with filmmaker Polly Nash. The Polish version of the film, with subtitles, is entitled, “Poza Prawem: Echa z Guantánamo.”
The details of the tour (and of the film) are available here, and this update is to provide information about the press conference in Warsaw on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the key themes of the tour, which, as well as providing important information about Guantánamo (regarding the innocent men held there, and how few prisoners are alleged to have had any connection to terrorist actvities), is also intended to raise awareness of the 31 men who have been cleared for release, but cannot be repatriated because they face a credible risk of torture or other ill-treatment in their home countries.
Crucially, the tour is also intended to create a space for discussions about the secret CIA prison that existed at Stare Kiejkuty, near Szymany, and the ongoing investigation into the complicity of senior Polish officials in establishing this prison, where numerous “high-value detainees” were held and tortured in the Bush administration’s “War on Terror.”
Moazzam Begg and Andy Worthington will be joined for the press conference on Tuesday by Bartlomiej Jankowski, the lawyer for Abu Zubaydah, one of the “high-value detainees” held in the secret CIA prison at Stare Kiejkuty, who was granted “victim” status by the Polish Prosecutor just 10 days ago as part of an ongoing investigation into the prison.
The organizers also hope that Mikołaj Pietrzak, the lawyer for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, another “high-value detainee” who was granted “victim” status in October last year, and Irmina Pacho of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, which played a major role last summer in exposing flight records demonstrating the movement of prisoners to and from the prison, will also be available to discuss this crucial matter of international significance. The “victim” status granted to al-Nashiri is of particular interest as it was announced last week that the Obama administration is planning to proceed with his trial by Military Commission at Guantánamo.
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, and available on DVD here), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
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On Facebook, Michael Ratner wrote:
This is great. Say hello to all esp Moazzam.
Willy Bach wrote:
… and, Andy, I suppose that if the people of Poland blocked the streets (again) and wanted their government to resign, Washington would be trying to install their chief torturer as they did in Egypt. We should be demanding change in Washington too.
Michael, I will indeed say hello to Moazzam for you, and Willy, yes, the Egyptian people have been showing what people can do in a way that the West appears to have almost entirely forgotten.