These men, like all those left in Guantanamo, are refugees. They are currently being denied the most basic rights, such as a fair trial, as the US administration attempts to ride out legal challenges to its project to keep its prison camps and rendition centres beyond international law and international scrutiny. But physical safety and legal rights are furthered threatened by the way in which they may be released. They could be returned to ‘home’ countries from where they fled persecution. This has already happened to one person who has been a British resident since the age of 14. Jamal Kiyemba was released from Guantanamo last month. Home Secretary Charles Clarke immediately banned him from returning to Britain forcing him to Uganda where he is now imprisoned.
Last Thursday at Gladstone Park Primary School, Dollis Hill, NW London, families of 3 men detained at the US base in Guantanamo Bay spoke at a public meeting to launch a campaign to free the men. Children of detainee Jamil el-Banna read out letters they had sent to their dad in Guantanamo, including 3-year old Mariam, who has never seen her dad. Like all prisoners at Guantanamo, the legal case against them has not been tried in a court. The men were British visitors on UK visas. For Jamil el-Banna and Bisher Al-Rawi, while their children have British citizenship, the UK government have so far declined to represent them, though the circumstances of their arrest in the Gambia whilst on a business trip to set up a peanut-oil venture are very controversial, after months of regular contact with UK intelligence officers with regard to finding out information about a UK based cleric. UK intelligence subsequently could not confirm nor deny that meetings took place with them prior to their arrest, washing their hands of the pair.
THE NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST GUANTANAMO
is made up of the following campaigns:
WEBSITE www.cageprisoners.com EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
The Save Omar Deghayes campaign
WEBSITE www.save-omar.org.uk EMAIL email@example.com
The Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign
The Manchester Belmarsh and Guantanamo campaign
The London Guantanamo campaign
We campaign for the release and return of all British residents in Guantanamo Bay and believe that:
* No-one should be imprisoned without trial
* No-one should be tortured
* There should be no illegal prisons: Guanatanmo, Bagram, all rendition centres and secret jails must close.
* All detainees must be released to safe places, to countries where they will not face further abuses of their human rights
* The protections of international law and international conventions as set out in Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention must be applied fully and equally, to all people, citizens, residents and refugees alike.
EARLY DAY MOTIONS
Write, email or visit your MPs, get them speak out against Guantanamo and sign:
EDM no. 524 GUATANAMO BAY (put by Des Turner)
EDM no. 1694 JAMIL EL-BANNA (put by Sarah Teather)
EDM no. 1730 BRITISH RESIDENTS IN GUANTANAMO BAY (put by Clare Short)
EDM no. 1767 FORCE-FEEDING AT GUANTANAMO BAY (put by Nick Harvey)
JUSTICE FOR DAD CAMPAIGN http://www.wbtimes.co.uk/petition/justicefordad.aspx
END GUANTANAMO http://www.gopetition.co.uk/online/7827.html
OTHER FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Screening ‘Road to Guantanamo’ and discussion with former Guantanamo detainees
7.00 p.m. Sunday 7th May MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) Canon Hill Park, Birmingham
Public Meeting, “Freedom in Blair's Britain,” speakers include Moazzam Beggs, Nahella Ashraf Respect, Nasir Hefezi awyer and Human rights activist, Jackie Chase Save Omar Deghayes
7.30 22nd March, Luther King House, Brighton Grove (off Wilmslow Road), Manchester
London Against Detention