Andy Worthington and Gareth Peirce On Guantánamo and UK Anti-Terror Laws at Amnesty International UK Student Conference, London, November 13, 2010


On Saturday November 13, at 9.30 am, I’ll be at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre in London for a panel discussion, “Unlawful detention — Guantánamo and beyond,” as part of the AIUK Student Conference 2010, which runs from November 12 to 14. Details of all three days’ events can be found here, although it should be noted that the conference is fully booked.

For the panel discussion, chaired by Steve Ballinger, Security & Human Rights Campaigner for AIUK, I’ll be joining the renowned human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce, whose book, Dispatches from the Dark Side: On Torture and the Death of Justice, has just been published, and Covadonga De La Campa Alonso, Iraq Campaigner for AIUK.  

While Gareth will primarily be discussing her work on behalf of “terror suspects” — both foreign and British nationals — who are imprisoned in the UK without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence or held under virtual house arrest on deportation bail or control orders, and Covadonga will be talking about unlawful detention in Iraq (where torture by British soldiers was most recently exposed at the weekend), I have been asked to discuss the case of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, who is still held despite being cleared for release in 2007.

I will also talk about the current situation at Guantánamo, where 174 men are still held (including Shaker), and President Obama has been advised to hold 48 men indefinitely without charge or trial (in a distressing continuation of the Bush administration’s policies), and to put 34 others on trial (down from 35, after Omar Khadr’s disturbing show trial two weeks ago). I will also discuss the problems facing the other men, who have been “approved for transfer,” but who include 58 Yemenis whose repatriation is on indefinite hold because of a moratorium issued by Obama in January, and I will also discuss US secret detention in other countries, either in secret CIA prisons or in proxy prisons in third countries.

I have also been advised that an excerpt from the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” which I co-directed with Polly Nash, will be shown as part of the session. The film, which was shown at the Human Rights Action Centre in February, at the start of an ongoing UK tour, focuses on the stories of three British residents — Shaker Aamer, Binyam Mohamed and Omar Deghayes — and I hope that showing it will help to raise the profile of Shaker, and will also encourage some of the student groups attending the conference to arrange their own screenings.

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, currently on tour in the UK, and available on DVD here), and my definitive Guantánamo habeas list, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

2 Responses

  1. Tweets that mention Andy Worthington and Gareth Peirce On Guantánamo and UK Anti-Terror Laws at Amnesty International UK Student Conference, London, November 13, 2010 | Andy Worthington -- says...

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andy Worthington, Susan Hall. Susan Hall said: Andy Worthington and Gareth Peirce On Guantánamo and UK Anti-Terror Laws at Amnesty International .. […]

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Susan Hall wrote:

    Thank you for continuing to care about the violent injustices that are being committed by the US gov. now going on a full decade.

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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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