Please Ask Your MPs to Support Caroline Lucas’s Early Day Motion Calling for the Closure of Guantánamo

25.3.16

Caroline Lucas MP (Green, Brighton Pavilion) supporting the We Stand With Shaker campaign in February 2015, with a poster for Valentine's Day declaring, "There is no love in Guantanamo." In March 2016, Caroline launched a new Early Day Motion calling for the closure of Guantanamo.

Contact your MP here.

Last week, Britain’s Green MP, Caroline Lucas, with the support of five other MPs, tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM 1260), entitled, ‘The Closure of Guantánamo Bay,’ which states, “That this House welcomes President Obama’s latest plan to fulfil his pledge to close Guantánamo Bay by the end of his Presidency; notes that this is President Obama’s last year in office and that his first executive order in January 2009 was to close Guantánamo; further notes that a recent US Senate report recognised the systematic use of torture in Guantánamo; believes that Guantánamo is now synonymous with torture, rendition and indefinite detention, rendering it a symbol of human rights abuses; further welcomes the release and return to the UK of British resident Shaker Aamer from nearly 14 years imprisonment in Guantánamo without charge or trial, but notes that 91 prisoners remain in Guantánamo; notes that many of these have been cleared for release without charge or trial so should be released without delay; further believes that the remaining detainees should have their full human rights restored and should either be released to countries that will respect their human rights or be given a fair trial; and urges the Government to support President Obama’s effort to close Guantánamo Bay but oppose any moves simply to relocate detainees from Guantánamo to another detention facility in the US.”

This is a comprehensive synopsis of the situation at Guantánamo with just 300 days left of the Obama Presidency, as currently highlighted by the Countdown to Close Guantánamo that I launched in January with music legend Roger Waters — mentioning the 91 men still held, even though 36 of them have been approved for release, the Senate Torture Report, and of course the release of Shaker Aamer.

Caroline has persistently opposed the existence of Guantánamo, tabling Early Day Motions calling for the prison’s closure in 2010 and 2011 (EDM 1093 and EDM 2558), and she was also one of the founding members of the All-Party Shaker Aamer Parliamentary Group set up by John McDonnell MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington) in November 2014, which played a major role in securing the release of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo last October.

The latest EDM was tabled on March 15, and, to date, has secured 25 signatures in total — Caroline, the EDM’s five sponsors, and 19 others. Six Labour MPs have so far signed it, one Tory, Caroline, as our only Green MP, as well as eleven SNP MPs, three Plaid Cymru MPs and three SDLP MPs.

Below is the list of MPs, and if your MP isn’t there, please contact them to ask them to sign the EDM, which you can do via WriteToThem. For reference, please have a look at the MPs who joined the Shaker Aamer Parliamentary Group, and the 51 MPs who signed an EDM for Shaker in September.

Signatories to EDM 1260, ‘The Closure of Guantánamo Bay’ 

Caroline Lucas (Green, Brighton Pavilion)
Mark Durkan (SDLP, Foyle)
Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
Alan Meale (Labour, Mansfield)
Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru, Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru, Arfon)

Also signed by:

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (SNP, Ochil and South Perthshire)
Mhairi Black (SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire South )
Phil Boswell (SNP, Coatbridge Chryston and Bellshill)
Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West)
Deirdre Brock (SNP, Edinburgh North and Leith)
Ronnie Campbell (Labour, Blyth Valley)
Joanna Cherry (SNP, Edinburgh South West)
Jim Cunningham (Labour, Coventry South)
Paul Flynn (Labour, Newport West)
Kelvin Hopkins (Labour, Luton North )
Chris Law (SNP, Dundee West)
Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP, Belfast South)
Paul Monaghan (SNP, Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Gavin Newlands (SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire North)
Margaret Ritchie (SDLP, South Down)
Christopher Stephens (SNP, Glasgow South West)
Owen Thompson (SNP, Midlothian)
Keith Vaz (Labour, Leicester East)
Mike Weir (SNP, Angus)

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album, ‘Love and War,’ is available for download or on CD via Bandcamp — also see here). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — 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. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

One Response

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Close ‪Guantanamo‬! If you’re in the UK, please ask your MP to support Green MP Caroline Lucas’s new Early Day Motion calling for the prison’s closure – unless your MP is one of the 25 who have so far signed the EDM. As well as Caroline, that’s six Labour MPs, one Tory, eleven SNP, three Plaid Cymru and three SDLP.

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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, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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