Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

Close down Guantanamo

Louise | 22.01.2006 21:10 | Birmingham | South Coast

March to American Embassy to demand the release of British residents and the many forgotten people of other countries from Guantanamo Bay

On Saturday a lively demonstration of 600 people made its way through central London to the U.S. Embassy, demanding justice for the British residents in Guantanamo Bay. The families, lawyers and supporters of the detainees are increasingly impatient at the British government's persistent refusal to act on behalf of Omar Deghayes, Binyam Mohammed,Shaker Aamer, Jamal Kiyemba, Bisher Al-Rawi, Jamal El Banna, Ahmed Errachidi, Ahmed Ben Bacha and Abdulnour Sameur on the basis that they are not British citizens. Binyam Mohamed, a student who lived in Kensington has been charged and faces trial by the universally derided ilitary tribunal where evidence extracted under torture when he was rendered to Morocco may be used against him. The cases of Omar Deghayes, Bisher Al-Rawi and Jamil El Banna are the subject of a judicial review currently being considered by the High Court.
Moazzam Begg, himself a detainee for 3 years in Guantanamo, spoke at the rally: "They say that our brothers are not British citizens. But their wives and children are British. When they lived here they paid British taxes. I say that before you are a British citizen you are a human being! We re not begging for mercy or clemency, but asking for justice."
Actor and peace campaigner Vanessa Redgrave condemned the force-feeding that was being used to break the hunger strike of over officially 80 detainees. It amounted to nothing more than an extension of the torture that detainees have already been subjected to. She also drew loud applause from the marchers when she stated that "This may be a small gathering, but it represents millions in the U.S., the U.K. and across the world."
Amani Deghayes, Omar Deghaye's sister, about her brother's condition:
"Omar has managed to contact us and he says he's doing better. He wants to pursue his studies, embrace his law work again. The government has had more than enough time to prepare a case for him and the others, but they've failed till now. It's unacceptable for anyone to be detained for so long in such conditions. Tony Blair called Guantanamo Bay an 'anomaly'- that's way too diplomatic for what's going on."