Shaker Aamer’s story to be screened October 13th

While Shaker Aamer has still not been released, has not met his youngest son Faris, Guantanamo has not closed and the hunger strike is still going on, Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice will be screened on Sunday 13 October at 11am.

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The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Dan Thea, Mau Mau Justice Network, Mark Saunders and Joy Hurcombe, Chair, Save Shaker Aamer Campaign

This is an initiative of the London Socialist Film Co- op. The organisation promotes socialist culture by arranging screenings where people can see films and take part in a panel discussion.

Spectacle made this short film about Shaker Aamer to mark the 10th anniversary of his incarceration.

Through conversations with activists and former detainees; the film paints a picture of who Shaker Aamer is, the injustices he has endured and what his life has involved for the last decade. From Bagram and Guanatanamo Bay prisons, to the unknown dark prisons throughout the world, Shaker Aamer’s story illustrates the lengths to which the U.S. and U.K. governments will go to justify their despicable War on Terror.

Shaker Aamer is a Saudi Arabian citizen with Permanent Resident status in Britain and was born and raised in Medina in Saudi Arabia. He left the country at the age of 17, living and travelling in America, Europe and the Middle East. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1996 where he met his British wife, Zin. They married in 1997 and have four British children, all of whom live with their mother in Battersea, South London.

Interested in visiting the screening? Click here for the address.

Or order Spectacle’s DVDs  Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice ( New Version) and  Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Yvonne Ridley interviews now published

A series of interviews with British journalist, broadcaster and human rights activist, Yvonne Ridley has now been published on the Spectacle website.

To watch them, please visit our Guantánamo archive pages.


Please note that these interviews were conducted during a screening, hence the occasional background noise.

Order Spectacle’s DVD Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Bradford screenings – Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

As part of the Bradford International Film Festival, Cineworld at the Bradford Leisure Exchange will be hosting two screenings of the new Spectacle documentary, Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo on the 26th and 27th of March.

The March 26th viewing will also host a panel discussion of the project with filmmakers Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, along with former detainees Moazzam Begg and Omar Deghayes following the screening.

Outside the Law offers a powerful and personal insight into the claims that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and how those detained as “illegal enemy combatants” were given no chance to defend themselves and, even worse, given no rights whatsoever.

Information and tickets are available online as are DVD purchases

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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo Renoir Screening

The Socialist Film Co-op have will be screening Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo at the Renoir Cinema in Bloomsbury on Sunday, September 12th. The screening will be followed by an exclusive Q&A with former Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes and producer Polly Nash.

For more information, visit the London Socialist Film Co-op website.

“This is a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy.  It avoids common conventions such as dramatic narration, music or use of archive footage, delivering frank and understated accounts from the victims and forming an intriguing and emotive cross-section of life at Guantanamo Bay.”

Joe Burnham, Time Out

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Government tried to prevent disclosure of detention manual

The government’s attempts to delay the current proceedings that have yielded highly classified documents for public consumption have received a rebuttal out of court. The failed attempt to suppress the information out of court, a ‘spin-off’ hope from the appeal court’s dismissal of the same case in May, has dented the coalition’s plans to restore confidence in the British Intelligence service who have been implicated in the torture of British citizens in Guantanamo and Afghanistan. It also follows previous failed efforts by David Miliband in October 2009 to prevent the disclosure of a CIA report that claimed that MI5 were fully aware that Binyam Mohamed was subject to ‘inhumane treatment’ during  interrogation in Morocco and Afghanistan, supplying information and questions to the Moroccans and Americans. Miliband was under pressure to protect the identities of those involved.

The inquiry, led by Sir Peter Gibson, will press ahead with raiding through the chest of 500,000 documents considered relevant to the judicial inquiry announced by David Cameron last week.  Among the documents that the government asked to remain undisclosed was the ‘Detainees and Detention Operations’ manual. The official document from MI6, which provides step-by-step guidelines that impressively manage to surf the boundaries of both legality and morality, contains a particularly chilling line regarding the jurisdiction of a particular detention that reads:

Is it clear that detention, rather than killing, is the objective of the operation?

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Measured antipathy and treachery by British Intelligence

An official report of an interview with Omar Deghayes confirmed his testimony, given in this interview with Spectacle back in December 2008, that British Intelligence were complicit in his torture during interrogation at a US airbase in Afghanistan.

The reports formally recognises Deghayes complaints that he suffered internal bleeding, and showed considered revulsion at Deghayes’ health visibly deteriorating during repeated visits to interrogate him in US custody, “Throughout the interview Deghayes expectorated rather disgustingly into a tissue as if he were still tubercular. These moments usually coincided with those answers were he was most evasive.”

Another report implicates the British Intelligence in calculated abandonment of Deghayes, stating, “We are due to see him 2100 local time on 4th March and propose that we treat this as our last opportunity to get the full truth from him. If he sticks to his story and just gives us a few more details, we propose disengaging and allowing events here to take their course.” Disengagement at this point meant rendition to lawless Guantanamo.

Deghayes is one of the former British Muslim detainees abducted and sent to US custody against their will despite being entitled to consular protection, and is one of seven former prisoners bringing cases alleging complicity in their torture against the Home Office, the Foreign Office and British Intelligence.

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No-one’s really bothered, keep going

“Public opinion has on the whole shown little concern about the welfare of the British detainees, or the legal terms of their detention. But the issue is clearly of sensitivity to Muslim opinion in the UK and abroad.”

The source of this quote is a memo circulated to the junior Foreign Office ministers, the Foreign Office press office and the department’s senior legal advisor, Sir Michael Wood on 4 January 2002, and refers to a number of British citizens and residents who at the time were being detained by US forces. The objective nature and breezy tone of the memo betrays a shocking disregard for the suffering of prisoners who, as revealed in several of the other documents, were witnessed by British Intelligence to have been in a rapidly deteriorating state.

What is more alarming is that the message was a clear signal to indulge in the illegality, secret acts of abduction and flying prisoner from cell to cell, on the grounds that they were getting away with it.

First hand video testimony of this process from Omar Deghayes documents the horrifying results of these decisions.

The memo is among 900 classified documents disclosed during high court proceedings this week as part of the official inquiry into the Labour government’s rendition of UK citizens, and goes on to say that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office should be, “seen as applying our normal standards of consular assistance as far as possible,” wholeheartedly asking its recipients not to be forthcoming about the fact that their government was knowingly allowing its people to be tortured.

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To order Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Post-birthday blues for Miliband

Any cause for celebration for David Miliband as he reflected on another year of career expediency will have been cut short by fresh accusations about his level of knowledge of British citizens rendition and subsequent torture.

Despite his promise that the current version of the guidelines, for MI5 and MI6 on how to carry out interrogations. will be published when reviewed and made suitable for public consumption, he has refused to publish the old guidelines – which he claims were more ‘informal’ than the updated version published in 2004 – on the grounds that it would give ‘succour to our enemies’.

The withholding of the official guidelines to interrogation discipline and technique is an attempt to suppress implications not only of his own government but also of those that deem torture necessary in obtaining information, contradicting his insistence that Britain should not collude with other countries that have ‘different standards to our own’.

It also demonstrates a depressing resolve to follow US practices. As the classified documents that implicate the Labour government’s complicity in the torture of British nationals suspected of terrorism demonstrate, Blair – who overruled Foreign Office attempts to give consular assistance to the former detainees – allowed suspects to be transferred to localities were torture was known to take place. Now Miliband is purveying the US default patriotic response to allegations of unlawful secrecy by claiming that to release the how-to detention pamphlet would undermine national security, whose authority must not be challenged.

Miliband’s protestation that he was unaware of any rendition or mistreatment was weakened considerably by the revelation that Gulam Mustafa, a 48 year-old businessman from Birmingham, was sent to Bangladesh and tortured with the full knowledge of MI5 in May of this year. Miliband remains a candidate in the race for the Labour leadership.

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For more information and ordering DVDs of Spectacle’s documentary Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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Omar Deghayes, former Guantanamo Bay detainee, describes his interrogation by British Intelligence

VIDEO INTERVIEW: FORMER GUANTANÁMO DETAINEE ON BRITISH COMPLICITY IN TORTURE

Omar Deghayes, former Guantanamo Bay detainee, describes his interrogation by British Intelligence agent, “Andrew’, and others (MI5 and MI6) while held illegally in Pakistan, before being sold into US custody and rendered to Bagram prison in Afghanistan and subjected to torture. This is an extended rough cut from Spectacle’s film: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo”

WATCH Omar Deghayes’ interview

For related interviews and extras visit Spectacle’s Archive Page

For further information on the Guantanamo Project visit Spectacle’s Project Page

To find out when/where screenings of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo” are taking place visit Spectacle’s Events Page

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Human Rights Watch report “Cruel Britannia: British Complicity in the Torture and Illegal Treatment of Terror Suspects’

VIDEO INTERVIEW: FORMER GUANTANÁMO DETAINEE ON BRITISH COMPLICITY IN TORTURE

Human Rights Watch report “Cruel Britannia: British Complicity in the Torture and Illegal Treatment of Terror Suspects” seriously undermines British Government denials of Intelligence service complicity in torture. Testimonials of Pakistani torturers included in the report allege that U.S. and British officers were “perfectly aware that we were using all means possible to extract information.”

This corroborates the statements of numerous ex-terror suspects who have come forward about their experiences. Omar Deghayes, former Guantanamo Bay detainee, describes his interrogation by British Intelligence agent, “Andrew’ and others while held illegally and subjected to torture in Pakistan and Bagram prison in Afghanistan.

His full interview, describing his first-hand experience can be viewed online:

Omar Deghayes on Torture and British Intelligence

This interview is an extract from the newly released documentary “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo’ (Spectacle 2009, Directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington) which is now available on DVD:

BUY DVD – Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

Other excerpts and extras can be found at:

http://www.spectacle.co.uk/outside-the-law-stories-from-guantanamo

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