After Powerful Screening of ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo’ at Westminster University, I’m Available for Further Events

A screenshot of former Guantanamo prisoner Omar Deghayes in 'Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo', shown at the University of Westminster on November 17, 2017 (Photo: Andy Worthington).Please support my work as a reader-funded journalist! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months of the Trump administration.

 

On Friday, I was delighted to attend a screening of ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo’, the 2009 documentary film I co-directed with Polly Nash, at the University of Westminster, followed by a lively Q&A session with a packed room full of very engaged students.

My thanks to Sam Raphael, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, for arranging the event. Sam, with Ruth Blakeley, set up The Rendition Project, described on his university page as “an ESRC-funded project which works with NGOs and human rights investigators to uncover and understand human rights violations in the ‘War on Terror.’” Sam’s page also explains that the project “provides an unparalleled picture of the CIA’s torture programme, and has been described by the Guardian as ‘a groundbreaking research project which sheds unprecedented light on one of the most controversial secret operations of recent years.’”

Sam and I have worked together before, most recently last November at ‘Enshrined Injustice: Guantánamo, Torture and the Military Commissions’, a panel discussion at the University of Westminster, which I spoke at, and which Sam moderated, and which also featured Alka Pradhan, Human Rights Counsel at the Guantánamo Bay Military Commissions, and Carla Ferstmann, the director of REDRESS. My report about that and other Guantánamo-related events in London at that time was entitled Parliament and the People: Two Days of London Events About Guantánamo, Torture and the Military Commissions. Read the rest of this entry »

Andy Worthington Joins Film-Makers and Authors to Judge Contest for Short Films About Torture

Are you a film-maker and an anti-torture activist? If so, then a video contest, for which I’m a judge, will be of interest to you. The Tackling Torture Video Contest, launched in Minneapolis on June 30 by by Tackling Torture at the Top, a committee of WAMM (Women Against Military Madness), is open to both amateur and professional filmmakers.

The deadline for entries is January 9, 2014. For full details see here — and see here for the home page.

Videos can be anything from 30 seconds to 5 minutes in duration. The contest is open to any citizen of any nation, but all videos must be in English or have full translations of all sound and text into English as part of the videos themselves.

There are four prizes in the competition: a $500 jury prize in the “serious” category; a $500 jury prize in the “humorous/satirical” category; and two $300 Audience Favorite prizes, one for “serious” and one for “humorous/satirical.” Read the rest of this entry »

“Dirty Wars”: An Immensely Powerful Anti-War Film, Uncovering Obama’s Global “War on Terror”

On May 13, I was privileged to be invited to a London preview of “Dirty Wars,” the new documentary film, directed by Richard Rowley and focusing on the journalist Jeremy Scahill’s investigations into America’s global “war on terrorism” — not historically, but right here, right now under President Obama.

In particular, the film, which opens in the US this weekend, and is accurately described by the New York Times as “pessimistic, grimly outraged and utterly riveting,” follows Scahill, who wrote it with David Riker, and is also the narrator, as he uncovers the existence of the shadowy organization JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, established by 1980, which is at the heart of the “dirty wars” being waged in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.

I had seen rushes with representatives of the Center for Constitutional Rights at the London base of the Bertha Foundation, one of the backers of the film, last year, and I remembered the powerful sequences in Afghanistan, where Scahill found out about JSOC after meeting the survivors of a raid in Gardez by US forces in 2010 in which two pregnant women had been killed, and there had then been a cover-up.This involved US soldiers returning to the scene of their crime to remove bullets from the corpses — something difficult to forget once informed about. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Omar Khadr Film “You Don’t Like the Truth” on Press TV (Part Two)

Two weeks ago, as I explained in a previous article here, I took part in a studio discussion at Press TV’s London studios, commenting on the excellent new documentary film, “You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo.” Directed by Luc Cote and Patricio Hernandez, this award-winning film focuses on the story of Guantánamo prisoner Omar Khadr, and will be officially released in the UK on September 30, 2011.

However, readers in London who are interested in this film can see it tomorrow (June 19) in University College London (UCL), in central London, as part of a weekend of Guantánamo films put together by Dochouse. Based at Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, Dochouse has been supporting and promoting documentaries in the UK since 2002. The “Exposing Guantánamo” weekend is part of the Open City London Documentary Festival, which also features “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (which I directed with Polly Nash).

For further information about “Exposing Guantánamo,” see my article here (providing further details about the “Exposing Guantánamo” weekend), in which I described “You Don’t Like the Truth” as follows:

This powerful new film features excerpts from seven hours of video footage of Canadian agents interrogating child prisoner and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr at Guantánamo over a four-day period in 2003. It reveals how his joy at meeting representatives of his own government turned to despair when he realized that they had not come to Guantánamo to help him, and important commentary on the footage is provided by Khadr’s US and Canadian lawyers, by journalist Michelle Shephard, by former US guard Damien Corsetti, and by former prisoners, including Omar Deghayes and Moazzam Begg. The footage was released by the Canadian courts after a ruling that Khadr’s rights had been violated, which was subsequently ignored by the Canadian government. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Omar Khadr Film “You Don’t Like the Truth” on Press TV

Last week, I was pleased to take part in a studio discussion at Press TV’s London studios of the documentary film, “You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo,” directed by Luc Cote and Patricio Hernandez, and focusing on the story of Guantánamo prisoner Omar Khadr, which will be officially released in the UK on September 30, 2011.

Readers in London who are interested in this film can see it on June 19 in UCL (University College London), as part of a weekend of Guantánamo films put together by Dochouse, an organization based at Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, which has been supporting and promoting documentaries in the UK since 2002. The “Exposing Guantánamo” weekend is part of the Open City London Documentary Festival, which also features “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (which I directed with Polly Nash).

For further information about “Exposing Guantánamo,” see my article here, in which I described “You Don’t Like the Truth” as follows:

This powerful new film features excerpts from seven hours of video footage of Canadian agents interrogating child prisoner and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr at Guantánamo over a four-day period in 2003. It reveals how his joy at meeting representatives of his own government turned to despair when he realized that they had not come to Guantánamo to help him, and important commentary on the footage is provided by Khadr’s US and Canadian lawyers, by journalist Michelle Shephard, by former US guard Damien Corsetti, and by former prisoners, including Omar Deghayes and Moazzam Begg. The footage was released by the Canadian courts after a ruling that Khadr’s rights had been violated, which was subsequently ignored by the Canadian government. Read the rest of this entry »

Open City: New London Film Festival Screening of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” UCL, June 19, 2011

“‘Outside the Law’ is a powerful film that has helped ensure that Guantánamo and the men unlawfully held there have not been forgotten.”
Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK

“[T]his is a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy.”
Joe Burnham, Time Out

“Every American needs to watch this film. Or at least every mouthpiece in the corporate media. They should broadcast this instead of the WWII Holocaust documentaries, which play on rotation on the cable networks.”
Alexa O’Brien, journalist, WL Central

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). Read the rest of this entry »

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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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