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Guantánamo: NOW is the time to take action

London Guantánamo Campaign | 26.11.2010 11:29 | Guantánamo | Repression | Terror War | World

As the illegal detention camp at Guantanamo Bay rapidly approaches its 9th birthday and President Obama approaches the first anniversary of his broken promise to close it, the war crimes conviction of child soldier Omar Khadr, the British government’s cover up of its collusion in torture through an out-of-court settlement and other recent events show that justice is not only elusive but non-existent at Guantánamo Bay.

In January 2010, the London Guantánamo Campaign called for no more anniversaries. As we gear up for our 9th anniversary action (details below), we invite you to take action to close Guantánamo Bay:

1: Get your MP to sign EDM 1093:
2: Demand the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo Bay
3: Join the London Guantánamo Campaign’s vigil to mark 9 years of Guantánamo on Tuesday 11 January 2011

1: Get your MP to sign EDM 1093:
The London Guantánamo Campaign has teamed up with Caroline Lucas MP (Brighton Pavilion, Green Party) to produce the following EDM:

EDM 1093: Guantanamo Bay

That this House notes with regret that President Obama's pledge to close the US Military Detention Centre at Guantánamo Bay by January 2010 is almost one year overdue and little closer to realisation; welcomes gestures by other European States to accommodate and receive innocent prisoners who have been cleared for release to help close the facility; notes with dismay that on 11 January 2011 the detention facility will have been open for nine years and that British resident Shaker Aamer has now been held there without charge or trial for almost the same length of time; urges the Government to step up its action to secure his release without further delay; and further notes the case of Ahmed Belbacha, previously resident in the UK and facing the imminent threat of forced return to his native Algeria where there are fears he will face abuse of his human rights; applauds the lead taken by countries such as Ireland, France, Spain, Germany and Bulgaria, who have accepted prisoners cleared for release from Guantánamo Bay by the US authorities on humanitarian grounds but who cannot return to their country of origin; and urges the Government to take similar measures to accept a number of such cleared prisoners.

We urge everyone to ask their MP to sign this important EDM. On 16 November, when Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke made the official statement about the out-of-court settlement with former prisoners concerning the government’s collusion in their torture and illegal detention, support for the closure of Guantánamo by MPs across the board was unequivocal. Sadiq Khan MP (Tooting, Labour) stated: “The Labour party has been, and will remain, completely opposed to Guantanamo Bay” and Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood in whose Bournemouth East constituency Ahmed Belbacha lived declared, “I am sorry that we did not do more to speak out against Guantanamo Bay and everything that it stands for”. Ask your MP to take a stand against Guantánamo by signing the EDM and joining the LGC on Tuesday 11 January for a lunchtime vigil in Trafalgar Square to mark the 9th anniversary of Guantánamo Bay. Write to your MP [find their contact details at] and ask them:
- to sign the EDM
- to join the 9th anniversary vigil on Tuesday 11 January 2011
A short e-mail should do the job.

2: Demand the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo Bay:
Shaker Aamer, a British resident from south London, who has a British wife and 4 British children, including his youngest son whom he has never met, has been held in illegal detention for almost a decade. His release was sought by Gordon Brown’s government over three years ago. He has never been charged or tried.
Following the government’s compensation settlement with former prisoners last week, tantamount to an admission of involvement in torture, the least the British government can now do is demand the immediate return of the last British resident, Shaker Aamer, to this country. To this end, Foreign Secretary William Hague has already spoken to his American counterpart Hillary Clinton.
Amnesty International UK has launched a new campaign demanding the release of Shaker Aamer. Take action at:
[N.B.: The LGC supports Amnesty International’s action but does not share its stance that Shaker Aamer should face trial; no charges of any kind have ever been brought against him].

The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (SSAC) is holding a day of action in Battersea, south London, on Saturday 11 December. Kicking off with a demonstration outside the proposed site of the new American Embassy at midday, the day’s action will also include a public meeting at the Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 at 2pm and a film showing of Andy Worthington’s film “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” at 4.30pm

For background and why you should take action for Shaker Aamer’s release, please read Andy Worthington’s article:

3: Join the London Guantánamo Campaign’s vigil to mark 9 years of injustice and abuse on Tuesday 11 January 2011

Beyond Words: Silent Witness to Injustice
Tuesday 11 January 2011, 1-2pm
on the north side of Trafalgar Square, opposite the National Gallery (at the top of the steps from Trafalgar Square)
Nine years since Guantánamo Bay opened, please join us in protest against this unspeakable injustice, and the deafening silence of the international community.

For more details, please e-mail london.gtmo [at] gmail dot com
Also on Facebook:

London Guantánamo Campaign
- e-mail: london.gtmo[at]gmail dot com