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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Reprieve ask Sir Peter Gibson to stand down from inquiry

Clive Stafford-Smith has published a letter sent to Sir Peter Gibson – the man elected by David Cameron to lead the inquiry into whether the UK has been complicit in the torture of terrorism suspects – that calls for him to renounce his position. The letter was written on behalf of Reprieve, an organisation which represents prisoners held ‘beyond the rule of law’ or those facing the death penalty, and which represented Binyam Mohamed in the trial which cleared his name of any connections with any terrorist acts.

Clive Stafford-Smith of Reprieve

The content of the letter focuses on the bias that compromises Sir Gibson’s position; specifically that he has already conducted an internal review on the same subject and his role as Intelligence Services Commissioner. Stafford-Smith finishes by challenging Sir Gibson about the expansion of his duties in 2009 to Gordon Brown to ‘…protect the reputation of our security and intelligence services…’ and to ‘…ensure that our practices are in line with the United Kingdom and international law,’ arguing that he should be acting as a witness to the inquiry, not leading it.

Given that previous reports maintained that the integrity of British Intelligence remained intact and that those involved in the hearings were ‘trustworthy and dependable’, Stafford-Smith feels that he is unlikely to offer any public criticisms of, or claims for accountability from either MI5 or MI6.

The full letter has been printed in full for public consumption and Stafford-Smith also appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme to debate the matter with the former chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Kim Howells.

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Criminal investigations into torture finally begins

According to The Guardian (July 10), the metropolitan police have launched an investigation into allegations by Binyam Mohamed that MI5 officers were complicit in his torture.

The investigation has been launched by the Attorney General after Binyam, a former Guantanamo detainee, persistently argued he was interrogated by MI5 and the FBI while being tortured in Pakistan.

Later on in his detainment, whilst being held captive in Morocco, Binyam became aware of British agents feeding his torturers questions and information. This supports  the claim of many other former captives, including Omar Deghayes who is featured on the Spectacle website, that British agents were not only aware of torture by foreign agents but used it to garner information from suspects.

The question we have to ask is why it has taken the police so long to launch this investigation and when  will criminal investigation be extended to every case of torture?

Furthermore, given the governments reluctance to release key documents related to Binyams case how indepth is any investigation going to be?

Is Miliband obstructing justice?

The controversy surrounding former Guantanamo resident Binyam Mohamed’s treatment at the hands of British intelligence officers continues to grow as the government is exposed in a cover up operation.

David Miliband stands accused of asking the US government to support his claims that the US would break off intelligence sharing if a dossier was published which detailed Binyam’s interrogation.

The foreign office apparently solicited a letter from Washington to support Miliband’s argument rather than Miliband responding to a threat from the US. This letter was then used to persuade two high court judges to prevent the dossiers publication. The judges said the dossier contained ‘powerful evidence’ to support Binyam’s claims of torture.

Why did the foreign office solicit a letter from Washington if the threat of a diplomatic breakdown already existed?

If no break down in relations between the US and UK was likely why did Miliband tell the high court this was the case?

Why is Miliband so keen to hide these documents?

Is Miliband perverting the course of justice by hiding evidence relevant in a criminal case?

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