“[T]his is a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy.”
Joe Burnham, Time Out
As featured on Democracy Now!, ABC News and Truthout. Buy the DVD here (£10 + £2 postage in the UK, and worldwide) or here if in the US ($10 post free), and please click on the image to enlarge the poster.
Throughout 2011, Andy Worthington, investigative journalist and author of The Guantánamo Files, is 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. Amnesty International UK is providing publicity and some support for the tour, which has already involved Andy attending screenings in Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh and Nottingham, and at King’s College and SOAS in London, with other screenings already confirmed over the next few weeks in Warwick (on Monday March 14), and at the Bradford International Film Festival (on Saturday March 26 and Sunday March 27). For full details, see “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” — UK Tour Dates 2011: The “Save Shaker Aamer” 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.
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 six new screenings throughout the rest of March. Please note that all events are free. Further screenings (for May and June) will be added to a dedicated page for the 2011 tour, and announced via new blog entries.
Wednesday March 16, 3 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Brunel University, Brunel Law School, Lecture Centre, Room C, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH.
This event is organized by Brunel Law School. For further information, please contact Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Assistant Deputy Head, Brunel Law School.
Friday March 18, 4 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Middlesex University, Room C115 , Hendon College Building, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT.
This event is organized by Middlesex University Amnesty International Society. For further information, please contact Ugo Nelson. Also see the Facebook page, and see here for a map.
Monday March 21, 6.30 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Queen Mary University of London, David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS.
This event is organized by QMUL Amnesty International Society. For further information, please contact Ellen Kiely. Also see the Facebook page, and see here for a map.
Wednesday March 23, 5 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Greenwich University, Lecture Theatre QA180, Queen Anne Court, 30 Park Row, London, SE10 9LS.
This event is organized by Greenwich University Amnesty International Society. For further information, please contact Rachael Pembroke. Also see the Student Union page here, and see here for a map.
Monday March 28, 5 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Portsmouth University, Park Building, Room 1.23, King Henry I Street, Portsmouth, PO1 2DZ.
This event is organized by Portsmouth University Amnesty International Society. For further information, please contact Adam Bright. Also see the Facebook page, and see here for a map.
Wednesday March 30, 6 pm: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington.
Sheffield Hallam University, Lecture Theatre 6620, City Campus, 38-40 Howard St., Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 1WB.
This event is organized by Hallam Isoc and Sheffield Hallam University Amnesty International Society. For further information, please contact Shezana Hafiz.
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, on tour in the UK throughout 2011, and available on DVD here — or here for the US), 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.
On Facebook, Carol Anne Grayson wrote:
You going to fit in Tyneside? would be great if you could…cheers
Nick Cope wrote:
If you do Tyneside let us know, there’s always a place to stay if you need it…
Carol Anne Grayson wrote:
Nick…Med Foundation for Care of Victim of Torture are up for it if Andy is …met with their regional director last week…we have had such events before…
Thanks, Carol and Nick. Sometime in May would be best, Carol. or even June.
Campaigning investigative journalist and commentator, author, filmmaker, photographer, singer-songwriter and Guantánamo expert
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