Britain’s Guantánamo: An Introduction


In a series of articles this week, Andy Worthington, journalist and author of The Guantánamo Files, follows up on a Parliamentary meeting in the House of Commons on Monday — “Britain’s Guantánamo? The use of secret evidence and evidence based on torture in the UK courts,” chaired by Diane Abbott MP — with four articles examining how and why the British government has turned its back on the principles of open justice, and five statements made by prisoners held on the basis of secret evidence.

The schedule of publication is as follows:

Tuesday March 31: The first article, Torture taints all our lives, appeared in the Guardian’s Comment is free.

Wednesday April 1: The second article, Britain’s Guantánamo: Calling For An End To Secret Evidence, is a report about Monday’s meeting, and is accompanied by statements made by three prisoners held under house arrest or imprisoned on the basis of secret evidence (Detainees Y, BB and U), which were read out by actors at the meeting on Monday. For the three statements, see: Five Stories From Britain’s Guantánamo: (1) Detainee Y, Five Stories From Britain’s Guantánamo: (2) Detainee BB and Five Stories From Britain’s Guantánamo: (3) Detainee U.

Thursday April 2: On Thursday I published statements made by two other prisoners held under house arrest or imprisoned on the basis of secret evidence (Hussain Al-Samamara and Detainee Z), which were also read out by actors at the meeting on Monday. For the two statements, see: Five Stories From Britain’s Guantánamo: (4) Hussain Al-Samamara and Five Stories From Britain’s Guantánamo: (5) Detainee Z.

Friday April 3: A third article, Britain’s Guantánamo: Fact or Fiction?, compares and contrasts the regimes implemented by the Bush administration at Guantánamo, and the British government in the UK, looking in particular at both governments’ attempts to bypass their obligations. under the UN Convention Against Torture, not to return foreign nationals to countries where they face the risk of torture.

Monday April 6: A final article, Britain’s Guantánamo: The Secret Terror Court Rules, examines the latest ruling by SIAC (the Special Immigrations Appeals Commission) in the cases of the five men discussed above. The secret court’s ruling regarding the Home Secretary’s application to revoke their bail took place two weeks ago, but received no media coverage whatsoever. [Note: My apologies. I ran out of time before a much-needed holiday, and never managed to write this article].

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). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and see here for my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

For other articles dealing with Belmarsh, control orders, deportation bail, deportations and extraditions, see Deals with dictators undermined by British request for return of five Guantánamo detainees (August 2007), Britain’s Guantánamo: the troubling tale of Tunisian Belmarsh detainee Hedi Boudhiba, extradited, cleared and abandoned in Spain (August 2007), Guantánamo as house arrest: Britain’s law lords capitulate on control orders (November 2007), The Guantánamo Britons and Spain’s dubious extradition request (December 2007), Britain’s Guantánamo: control orders renewed, as one suspect is freed (February 2008), Spanish drop “inhuman” extradition request for Guantánamo Britons (March 2008), UK government deports 60 Iraqi Kurds; no one notices (March 2008), Repatriation as Russian Roulette: Will the Two Algerians Freed from Guantánamo Be Treated Fairly? (July 2008), Abu Qatada: Law Lords and Government Endorse Torture (February 2009), Ex-Guantánamo prisoner refused entry into UK, held in deportation centre (February 2009), Home Secretary ignores Court decision, kidnaps bailed men and imprisons them in Belmarsh (February 2009), Britain’s insane secret terror evidence (March 2009).

One Response

  1. Britain’s Guantánamo: Fact or Fiction? by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] statements examining the use of secret evidence in the British courts. For an introduction, see Britain’s Guantánamo: An Introduction, and for the first two articles, see Torture taints all our lives (published in the Guardian’s […]

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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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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