“[T]his is a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy.”
Joe Burnham, Time Out
Throughout 2011, Andy Worthington, investigative journalist and author of The Guantánamo Files, will be touring the UK, showing the documentary “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington) and attending post-screening Q&A sessions. On some dates, Andy will be joined by former Guantánamo prisoner Omar Deghayes, who is now the legal director of the Guantánamo Justice Centre, Polly Nash, and other guests yet to be confirmed. Amnesty International UK is providing publicity and some support for the tour.
The 2011 UK tour follows a 35-date UK tour undertaken by Andy last year (often in the company of Omar Deghayes), and, for the most part, involves events arranged by Amnesty International student groups, following an initiative launched at the Amnesty International Student Conference at the Human Rights Action Centre in London in November 2010, where Andy was a speaker, and where he invited student groups to hold screenings.
The tour also follows screenings in the US last October and in January this year, and a week-long tour of Poland in the first week of February 2011, and also coincides with two appearances in film festivals — the D.C. Independent Film Festival in Washington D.C. on March 5, 2011, and the Bradford International Film Festival, which takes place between March 16 and 27, 2011. Further information about these screenings will be announced soon.
The intention of the tour, as with every screening, is to raise awareness of the truth about Guantánamo, extraordinary rendition, secret prisons and torture, explaining how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, rounding up men and boys in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for bounty payments), and also explaining 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 focuses on the stories of three prisoners — Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, who is still held, and Binyam Mohamed and Omar Deghayes (both released) — and features interviews with former prisoners Moazzam Begg and Omar Deghayes, lawyers Clive Stafford Smith and Tom Wilner, and journalist Andy Worthington, plus appearances from Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, Imam Shakeel Begg, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.
Take action for Shaker Aamer!
In addition, this year’s tour focuses specifically on the ongoing plight of Shaker Aamer. Although he was cleared for release from Guantánamo in 2007, Shaker, a Saudi national with a British wife and four British children, is still held, despite the fact that, last November, he was included in a financial settlement that the British government reached with 15 former prisoners (which he obviously cannot conclude while held in Guantánamo), despite the fact that the Metropolitan Police are investigating his claims that British agents witnessed his abuse by US soldiers in a prison in Afghanistan, before his transfer to Guantánamo in February 2002, and despite the fact that the coalition government’s planned judicial inquiry into British complicity in torture abroad, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last July, cannot legitimately start while he is still held.
In seeking to understand why Shaker Aamer has not been released, his lawyers, and everyone else who has studied his case closely, has been obliged to conclude that it is not because he poses a threat to anyone, or that he was engaged in any kind of terrorist activity, but because, as the foremost defender of the prisoners’ rights, he knows too much about the dark workings of Guantánamo, and, in particular, because, on the night in June 2006 that three men died in Guantánamo under mysterious circumstances (in contrast to the authorities’ claim that they committed suicide), Shaker has stated that he was subjected to brutal torture, and thought that he would die.
Letters to the British and American governments will be available at these events, but if you want to write now to demand Shaker’s return to his family in the UK, please visit this Amnesty International campaign page, where you can write directly to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In addition, via my site, you can also write to Foreign secretary William Hague using the template here, or write to your MP here, or write to Hillary Clinton and Daniel Fried, the US Special Envoy on Guantanamo, here.
Below is a list of eight confirmed screenings to date, plus one other speaking event that does not involve a screening. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free. Further screenings will be added to a dedicated page for the 2011 tour, and announced via new blog entries.
Monday February 14, 6.30 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY.
This event is organized by the University of Bristol Amnesty International Society, with support from other Bristol Amnesty groups.
For further information, please contact Sam Knight. Also see the Facebook page.
Friday February 18, 7 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Durham University, Room ER140, Elvet Riverside, New Elvet, Durham, DH1 3JT.
This event is organized by Durham University Amnesty International Society, with the support of Durham University Law, Sociology, Politics and Anthropology Departments.
For further information, please contact Alice Thubron. Also see the Facebook page. Click on the image to enlarge the poster.
Saturday February 19, 5 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Teviot Dining Room (Student Union building), Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AJ.
This event is organized by the Edinburgh University Amnesty International Society and the Stirling University Amnesty group, with participation from Edinburgh Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Napier University, Glasgow University and the University of St. Andrews.
For further information, please contact Emily Segaran. See here for information about the Teviot venues.
Wednesday February 23, 7.30 pm: Talk by Andy Worthington – “Outside the law: what next for the detainees in Guantanamo Bay?”
Latimer Room, Clare College, University of Cambridge, CB2 1TL.
I’m delighted to have been asked to speak at this event organized by Cambridge University Amnesty International society and the Cambridge Hub, a charity that connects students with causes and encourages them to help tackle the social and environmental issues that challenge us today.
The evening will begin with pre-event drinks at 7.15pm, with the 30-minute presentation starting at 7.30pm, followed by a question and answer session. Further drinks will follow the talk and provide an opportunity for students to have further discussions with the speaker and attendees. Other recent speakers that the Student Hubs network has hosted across Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Southampton include: Dr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; Professor Anthony Giddens, British sociologist; Jon Snow, British broadcaster; Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development; Tim Smit, Founder of the Eden Project; and Dr. Ian Goldin, former Vice President of the World Bank. See the term card here.
For further information, please contact Ruth Graham.
Thursday March 3, 6 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
King’s College London, Stamford Street Residence Lecture Theatre, Franklin Wilkins Building, Stamford Street, London, SE1 8WA.
This event is organized by King’s College Amnesty International Society, and has been announced as follows: “This is the highlight of our activities this term, and probably the academic year, as Andy is a great historian and an expert on Guantánamo. We are really excited about this event and the expertise Andy provides!”
For further information, please contact Ela Drazba. Also see the Facebook page.
Monday March 7, 6.30 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Nottingham University, Room B63, Law and Social Sciences Building, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD.
This event is orgnaized by Nottingham University Amnesty International Society, as part of a week of events covering unlawful detention and torture, which includes a performance of “Rendition Monologues” by iceandfire Theatre on March 9.
For further information, please contact Alea Nasihin.
Friday March 11, 6 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
SOAS, Lucas Lecture Theatre (G2), SOAS Main Building, Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG.
This event is organized by SOAS Student Union and SOAS Amnesty International Society.
For further information, please contact Vicky Chenery. Also see the Facebook page.
Monday March 14, 8.30 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Warwick University, Lecture Theatre L5, Science Concourse, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AJ.
This event is organized by Warwick University Amnesty International Society as part of a “Protect the Human” Week, which is starting with a day focused on terrorism and security.
Also, please note that, at 5 pm, I’ll be taking part in another event, “Question Time: Liberty v. Security — 10 Years On.” For this panel discussion, chaired by Prof. Trevor McCrisken (Warwick PAIS), I’ll be joining David Davis MP, Robin Simcox (Centre for Social Cohesion) and Ghaffar Hussain (Quilliam Foundation) to discuss the following questions: 1) Are control orders justified? 2) Is closing Guantánamo Bay feasible? 3) Islamophobia and radicalisation — myth or matter? 4) The balance between liberty and security since 9/11 — your verdict? All I can say is that, with that line-up, sparks may fly …
For further information, please contact Jesko Bartelt. Also see the Facebook page and website.
Thursday March 24, 7 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Omar Deghayes and Andy Worthington.
Cardiff University, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3QN.
This event is organized by Cardiff Stop the War.
For further information, please contact Adam Johannes on 07940 108146 or email.
For further information, interviews, or to inquire about broadcasting, distributing or showing “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” please contact Polly Nash or Andy Worthington, and please see below for the first five minutes of the film:
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.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andy Worthington, Susan Hall. Susan Hall said: The “Save Shaker Aamer” Tour: Eight New UK Screenings of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.. http://bit.ly/ghnEcZ […]
On Facebook, Tashi Farmilo-Marouf wrote:
Can you make a detour to Canada so we can see the film too
Ann Alexander wrote:
See you in Edinburgh on 19th, Andy.
Anne McClintock wrote:
Good luck and thanks for your invaluable work!
Oliver Sidorczuk wrote:
Any chance you could come back to LSE to give a talk/Q&A after a screening of the film? You may have already been contacted by someone at LSE Amnesty Int’l, but if not, please do get in touch.
(Chair of LSE AI Society)
Thanks for the comments.
Tashi, I’d love to come to Canada, but a few plans proposed by various people haven’t worked out. Perhaps one of these days …
Ann, I will indeed see you on the 19th, and I’m very much looking forward to it.
Anne, thanks for the support.
And Oliver, I’ll get back to you — you’re on a list of about 18 other student Amnesty groups asking for screenings!
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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