“Shaker Aamer: a decade of injustice” screening in House of Commons next Monday

An updated version of Spectacle’s short film “Shaker Aamer: A decade of injustice” will be screened next Monday in the House of Commons. It will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A to focus on how we can all work for Shaker Aamer’s release and return to the UK.

This new version includes interviews with Clive Baldwin- Senior Legal Advisor Human Rights Watch- and Ruth Blakely- Senior Lecturer In International Relations at University of Kent.

Shaker Aamer is one of the 171 men still held in detention in Guantanamo Bay on the camp’s 10th anniversary. Despite never having had a trial, having been approved for release twice, and a growing number of people from all walks of life campaigning for him, Shaker remains in detention. His physical and mental health deterioration is a prevalent concern.

Monday 29th October, at 7pm to 9 pm 
Room 15, the House of Commons, London SW1A2TT (St. Stephen’s Entrance)
 Meeting hosted by Jane Ellison MP on behalf of the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (SSAC).

Speakers:

Clive Stafford Smith OBE, Jane Ellison MP,

Omar Deghayes, Kate Hudson, Yvonne Ridley,

Joy Hurcombe Others invited/include:

Caroline Lucas MP, Sarah Ludford MEP, John McDonnell MP, and Terry Waite CBE.

 

Please note – arrive in good time for the meeting. Allow 20 minutes to clear security at the House of Commons. The House of Commons is a no-smoking zone and we are requested not take in any food.

 

Support our project by buying  Shaker Aamer: A decade of injustice

Spectacle has followed the case of Shaker Aamer in detail since the completion of Outside The Law: Stories from Guantanamo in 2009.

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O visita nuestro Guantánamo project para más información y vídeos.

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Shaker Aamer, una década de injusticia

Shaker Aamer es uno de los 171 presos todavía encarcelados en Guantánamo en el décimo aniversario desde su apertura en 2002. A pesar de que nunca ha tenido un juicio, habiéndosele concedido la puesta en libertad dos veces y el gran número de personas que apoyan su causa, Shaker continúa detenido.

Durante los 10 años que lleva en la Bahía de Guantánamo, Shaker nunca ha sido inculpado y él nunca ha negado su inocencia. Aamer ha luchado continuamente por el bienestar de otros presos de Guatánamo y muchos piensan que esto junto a que podría haber sido testigo de abusos de los derechos humanos por parte de los Estados Unidos son las razones por las que todavía está preso.

Apoya nuesto trabajo comprando la versión en español del documental Shaker Aamer: Una década de injusticia

Spectacle ha seguido el caso de Shaker Aamer en detalle tras concluír la realización de Outside The Law: Stories from Guantanamo en 2009.

 

Encarga el DVD de Spectcle Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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“Shut down Guantánamo” demonstration

A demonstration calling to shut down Guantánamo Bay will be held on Thursday (4 October) outside the US embassy from 12 pm and at 1.15 outside Speaker´s Corner, Hyde Park. Follow the Facebook event for the last updates.

The London Guantánamo Campaing has been asking for the return of all British residents and the closure of the prison since 2006.

Shaker Aamer is the last Londoner in Guantánamo. He has never had a trial, he has never been charged so campaigners wonder why he is still there.

Watch a Decade of Injustice for more information.

 

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

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‘Justice and Security’ Bill to Silence Civil Courts

A new bill proposed aims to silence future court rulings involving secrets sensitive to the government, such as British Intelligence collusion in torture.

It is claimed that the bill will allow for better disclosure within the courts, whilst silencing the coverage of discussions, but the realities of this seem to be a move towards secreet courts.

This comes after secrets surrounding the torture and degrading conditions imposed on UK residents in Guantanamo Bay were discussed openly in court, after the High Court ruled that information disclosed by the CIA to MI5 and MI6 was to be released.

The bill will mean that future hearings won’t have the publicity they once did. Yet another sheet to cover the dealings of international governments from society.

Whether or not the truth behind Guantanamo’s conditions will ever be publicly admitted to or not seems continually unlikely; giving those campaigning for Shaker Aamer’s release another hurdle to overcome in the fight for justice.

For more on the bill, read The Guardian’s article and Parliament’s Official Page

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

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Save Shaker Aamer Campaign Demonstration

This Monday, 10th September, a large scale protest will be held opposite the Houses of Parliament, rallying for the release of Shaker Aamer.

As London 2012 draws to a close this Sunday, demonstrators aim to bring what they call the Guantanamo Torture Olympics into the public conscioussness, and to bring Shaker Aamer back to London.

The organisers have outlined their aims, in a press release saying, ‘We are calling for Shaker Aamer’s immediate release, an end to torture and abuse in Guantanamo and for the Torture Team of Guantanamo Bay to be made accountable for crimes against humanity.’

All other UK prisoners have been released from Guantanamo, so why is it that Aamer remains detained?

Watch A Decade of Injustice for more information.

The demonstration is set to take place from 1pm to 3pm at Parliament Square, London on Monday.

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

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The truth about torture, terrorism and secrecy – as told by Britain’s former spy chief

 

 

 

 

 

 

A year ago, the former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, raised eyebrows in the darker recesses of Whitehall by telling some home truths in her BBC Reith lectures about the security and intelligence agencies.

She returns to her three key themes – torture, terrorism and secrecy – on Thursday with the publication of a short book, Securing Freedom, based on those lectures. It is a refreshing antidote to the rhetoric deployed by ministers and their acolytes who appear too frightened to come clean on any issue relating to that elusive but overarching concept of “national security”. Here are some points that MI5, MI6, the CIA and the new justice secretary Chris Grayling should note:

1. “Torture is illegal in our national law and in international law. It is wrong and never justified … Torture should be utterly rejected even when it may offer the prospect of saving lives … I am confident that I know the answer to the question of whether torture has made the world a safer place. It hasn’t.”

MI5 and MI6 remain embroiled in the unresolved dispute about their role in the abuse and torture of terror suspects. The government tried to push allegations under the carpet by compensating UK residents and citizens taken by the CIA to Guantánamo Bay – and no sooner had it done so than evidence emerged in Libya showing how MI6 helped arrange the abduction of Libyan dissidents to Tripoli, where they say they were tortured by Muammar Gaddafi’s secret police. “There are clearly questions to be answered about … whether the UK supped with a sufficiently long spoon,” says Manningham-Buller, who was head of MI5 at the time. MI6, which was ultimately accountable to then foreign secretary, Jack Straw, says the rendering of the dissidents to Libya in 2004 was authorised by ministers.

2. “Rushing to legislate in the wake of a terrorist atrocity is often a mistake,” says Manningham-Buller in a clear reference to the Blair government’s practice of drawing up more and more “counter-terrorism” laws, a practice sharply criticised by Ken Clarke, now sacked as justice secretary. “We compound the problem of terrorism if we use it to erode the freedom of us all,” she adds. To the surprise of her former colleagues in MI5, she used her maiden speech in the Lords to attack the Labour government’s proposal to detain suspected terrorists without charge for up to 42 days.

Will the reshuffled government succumb to pressure from the security and intelligence agencies and introduce more laws they hope will frighten terrorists, ignoring the root causes? Governments, including the British, talk to terrorists, and, Manningham-Buller reminds us, they have “too often preferred the stability of the devil we know to the uncertainties of democracy” – a reference to the Arab spring and Britain’s close relations with Middle Eastern autocracies.

3. “The scrutiny of the security and intelligence agencies will evolve, and it is right that it should. But, given that intelligence to counter these threats will still be needed, that scrutiny will never be able to be transparent. For to secure freedom, within a democracy and within the law, some secrets have to remain.” And there’s the rub. “Overt information may be more important than secret intelligence. There are those, the sceptical observers I wish the readers of intelligence to be, who believe that governments hype threats for their own purposes to ensure legislation proceeds through parliament.”

The coalition government is determined to push through into law its “justice and security” bill designed to prevent any information from the security and intelligence agencies, domestic or foreign, from ever being disclosed in court. The very existence of such secret hearings would be secret, if the government has its way. Ironically, its fate may well end up in the hands of Manningham-Buller and others in the (unreformed) House of Lords.

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Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice Screening in House of Commons

Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice will be screened at the House of Commons, Committee Room 15 on Monday 29th October, 2012 at 19:00 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaker Aamer is one of the 171 men still held in detention in Guantanamo Bay on the camp’s 10th anniversary. Despite never having had a trial, having been approved for release twice, and a growing number of people from all walks of life campaigning for him, Shaker remains in detention. His physical and mental health deterioration is a prevalent concern.

During the 10 years that Shaker Aamer has been incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, he’s has never been charged, and he has never denied his innocence. He has continuously lobbied for the welfare of other Guantanamo inmates from within the system. Many believe that this, and his potential as a witness to U.S. human rights abuses, are the reasons he still remains captive.

Spectacle has followed the case of Shaker Aamer in detail since the completion of Outside The Law: Stories from Guantanamo in 2009.

To support our work by buying it

To watch the film online

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HSBC guilty but walk free, Shaker Aamer innocent but still in Guantanamo.

You get the justice you can afford…

According to the media, the City of London’s reputation has been severely damaged by HSBC’s money laundering scandal. What rubbish. It’s favourable services offered to the drug dealing and terrorist communities is precisely what gives the City its “competitive edge.” However, the City of London’s competitors may be a little more squeamish (or tightly regulated) to profit from such rich pickings.

So what happens to those caught red handed abetting Al Qaeda and drug dealing organisations?  They resign, say sorry and promise not to do it again.

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)’s head of group compliance, David Bagley, was faced with charges that HSBC gave terrorists, drug cartels and criminals access to the U.S. financial system by failing to guard against money laundering. The result; Bagley stated at a Senate hearing that he will step down. He has also been told to release a formal apology.

 

Compare this to how people like Shaker Aamer are treated. Shaker, a completely innocent man cleared for release but, even today, still stuck in  Guantanamo in a nightmare limbo. He had been  extraordinarily rendered from Afganistan, tortured and imprisoned for more than 10 years without trial or access to his family.

You can watch Spectacles new film on Shaker Aamer’s story here and sign the petition here.

You could also compare it to how ‘rioters’ were treated following the London riots in August 2011. Mother-of-two Ursula Nevin,  was jailed for five months for receiving a pair of shorts that had been looted from a city centre store, and Nicholas Robinson was jailed for six months for stealing a case of water worth £3.50.

So when the media talk about restoring the “City’s reputation” what they mean is restoring the cosy myth of decent trustworthy pinstripped chaps simply being better at “invisible exports” than their counterparts in Paris, Amsterdam, New York or Frankfurt. The big mistake, as was the case for Ursula Nevin and Nicolas Robinson, was being caught. The real loss of reputation is among the drug cartels and terrorists. Can they really trust the City of London to keep their operational secrets?

One wonders what the reaction might be if the bank and bankers in question were Islamic, or from say Iran or Gaddaffi’s Libya. Would it be a completely different story…?

Spectacle has made a short film about Shaker Aamer to mark the 10th anniversary of his incarceration. Watch Spectacle’s new video on Shaker Aamer and please sign the petition @ www.freeshaker.com. Get him out of Guantanamo!

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

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Or visit our Guantánamo project pages for more information and videos.

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Songs of War: Musical Torture

The concept of having a song in your head, completely changes the moment you are forced to listen to it over and over again. Could you imagine what a damage a sweet, innocent, childish, television show can bring in times of war? And how music can drive you crazy? Al-Jazeera produced a shocking documentary about the use of music to torture prisoners. In the documentary, the composer of Sesame Street songs, Christopher Cerf, is investigating the use of his songs in for example Guantanamo Bay. He is confused that his creations are being used to torture people for hours and hours.

Torture through music is used to make prisoners speak during interrogations and to make them alienated and unable to think. The documentary is also touching upon the fact that Sesame Street music was used before as a torture technique in 2003 to prisoners from Iraq. The film includes an in-depth interview with Moazzam Begg, also interviewed in Shaker: A Decade of Injustice, about his time in Guantanamo and the use of torture and music.
Worth watching.

Watch the whole documentary here.

Interested in more about Guantanamo Bay?

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

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Shaker: A Decade of Injustice Trailer


Spectacle is pleased to announce that the official Shaker: A Decade of Injustice Trailer is online. Spread the word and get Shaker Aamer out of Guantanamo!

Watch the full film here:Shaker: A Decade of Injustice Film

February 2012 marked the tenth anniversary of the last British resident, Shaker Aamer’s capture, extraordinary rendition and incarceration in the notorious prison Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The controversial detention camp is universally known for its systematic use of torture and indefinite detention.  Having never been charged with a single crime Shaker Aamer has been cleared for release twice by both the Bush and Obama administrations in 2004 and 2009, and yet the reason why he is still imprisoned remains unclear. After years in solitary confinement, Shaker Aamer’s physical and mental state is rapidly deteriorating.

Saudi-born Shaker Aamer lived in Battersea, South West London with his wife and four children. He was captured shortly after 9/11in Afghanistan while he was voluntarily helping to build a school. During this time the United States were offering $5000 per suspect given to them. The alleged original reasons for his capture, his supposed ties with Al-Quaeda, have been dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice recounts the story of his unlawful imprisonment, of the torture he has endured and the campaign that is being fought for his freedom. It outlines the possible reason why he hasn’t been released, these include his status in Guantanamo Bay as a leader and spokesperson for the other prisoners, his allegations of the UK governments complicity in his torture, and what he may have witnessed the night of the multiple “Guantanamo suicides”.

This short film (17 minutes) includes interviews with former Guantanamo Bay detainees (Moazzam Begg, Omar Deghayes, Martin Mubanga), his American lawyer Clive Stafford Smith (director of Reprieve), his local MP Jane Ellison, amongst other campaigners, journalists and human rights lawyers. It also features exclusive footage of the ongoing fight for his return taking place in London.

Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice was filmed over the past three years documenting the story of the campaign to free him, their struggle, and the wider political implications of his incarceration. As years went on and nothing changed, the necessity to make the film became more urgent.

Spectacle is engaged in making investigative, community-led documentary films touching on issues such as urbanism, racism and radical philosophy. Outside the Law: Stories from GuantanamoThe Truth Lies In Rostock and The Battle of Trafalgar are some of the titles Spectacle has released since it started in the ’90s.

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

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