Stories from Guantanamo: access our new video library for free this Human Rights Day

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/guantanamobaylibrary

Spectacle is launching a new library of films on Vimeo on demand. This will allow viewers to rent all of our films relating to Guantanamo Bay and people’s advocacy work for those imprisoned there without trial. The collection includes the films Outside the Law: Stories From Guantanamo and Shaker Aamer: A Decade Of Injustice as well as short films on the various groups campaigning for Shaker’s release and never before seen interviews with politicians and campaigners including John MacDonald and Sadiq Khan. The library will be free to access for one month starting on the 6th of December to mark Human Rights Day (10th Dec).

VIEW THE FILMS HERE with promo code: HR21Guan

After 20 years of protracted conflict and attempted nation building in Afghanistan, the Taliban are back in the seat of government. Politicians in the UK and America are scrambling to justify these 20 years: the lives lost and billions spent. In the midst of these speeches on noble intentions it is important to look back at the war on terror and remember the basis on which this war was waged.

It was a moment when the USA and its allies in NATO decided that human rights and habeas corpus were not in fact universal principles and did not apply to anyone deemed an “enemy combatant”. Moazzam Begg (a former detainee of Guantanamo Bay) summed up this thinking in a Q&A after a screening of Stories from Guantanamo with the George Orwell Quote: “we are all equal but some are more equal than others”.  Everything was justifiable in the name of stamping out global terrorism.  Innocent men from around the world were sent, not just to Guantanamo, but also Bagram prison in Afghanistan and other “black site” secret prisons, to be tortured and interrogated.  

Spectacle has documented the story of the Guantánamo Bay Detention Centre and the wider context of extraordinary rendition and secret prisons that were central to Bush and Blair’s War On Terror in two separate films, available together here for the first time along with extras and archive materials.

Outside the Law: Stories From Guantanamo and Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” provides a powerful rebuke to those who believe that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and that the Bush administration was justified in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by holding men neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights, but as “illegal enemy combatants” with no rights whatsoever.

The film is based around interviews with former prisoners including Moazzam Begg and Omar Deghayes in his first major onscreen interview. The film also contains interviews with lawyers for the prisoners, journalist and author Andy Worthington, Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, a London-based Imam, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

“Outside the Law is a powerful film that has helped ensure that Guantánamo and the men unlawfully held there have not been forgotten”.

Kate Allen , director Amnesty International UK

Shaker Aamer: A Decade of Injustice

This film was made to mark the 10th anniversary of Shaker Aamer’s detention in Guantanamo Bay.

Shaker Aamer was 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 there being a large campaign supporting him, Shaker remained in detention until 2015.

During the 13+ years that Shaker Aamer was incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, he was never 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 remained captive for so long.

Shaker Aamer was finally released from prison on 30th October 2015.

Access the library in full HERE and use promo code: HR21Guan.

CNN Update: Shaker Aamer on the Guantanamo Hunger Strike

CNN Update: Shaker Aamer on the Guantanamo Hunger Strike

A CNN video report uncovers the latest insight into the Hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay. The report features testimony from Shaker Aamer, the last British resident to remain at Guantanamo despite never being charged for any alleged crime, and having twice been cleared for release in the past.

Shaker Aamer describes how inmates at Guantanamo (himself included) feel it is necessary to continue the on going Hunger strike which is now approaching four months,  in an attempt to finally secure the closure of Guantanamo.

The CNN video also describes the suffering that Shaker Aamer has experienced from being force fed, and explains the just cause for hunger striking when life inside Guantanamo is so intolerable that prisoners see no other option but to remain on hunger strike.

“I do not want to be force fed, I don’t want to die either, but this is a living death here in Guantanamo, so if I have to risk death for principle, this is what I want to do.”  – Shaker Aamer

The video also features Moazzam Begg, Former Guantanamo inmates and now a worker for an advocacy group Cage Prisoners. His appearance in the video places further pressure on the US Government to get Guantanamo closed down, remarking on the poor treatment of the inmates:

“They don’t get clean drinking water. They are getting stripped searched constantly. Sprayed in the face with pepper spray. Rubber bullets. All of that is true. But that’s not why they are doing this. They are doing this because there is no hope.” – Moazzam Begg

Meanwhile a speech by President Obama has questioned the US Military in their response  that “forced feeding is being continued so that inmates are kept alive”. Obama says “Is this the America we want to leave our children”

It appears therefore that the 103 prisoners on Hunger strike will not give up their quest to secure the closure of Guantanamo, while the US Military will continue to force fed them. For Shaker Aamer – prisoner 239, there is a strong determination to return home to his family after eleven years in Guantanamo. Shaker furthermore, shares his confidence for the hunger strike to be a success:

“This place is going to close sooner or later”… Don’t wait for too much longer or there is going to be dead people down here, and that’s not good for anyone.”

“I have been called 239 for so long, I fear my children my have to call me by a number for a while.” – Shaker Aamer

A Q&A with Shaker Aamer can also be viewed on the CNN page, along with related clips, and related headlines.

 

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

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Frankie Boyle on Hunger Strike over Guantanamo

Frankie Boyle on Hunger Strike Over Guantanamo

Original Article Source: Click Here

Last week comedian Frankie Boyle went on hunger strike in support of the 103 prisoners that are on a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay.

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Image sourced from www.list.co.uk

Frankie Boyle has now joined forces with Clive Stafford Smith; a lawyer who went on Hunger strike recently in support of his client Shaker Aamer, the only British resident to remain held at Gutananamo. It has now been over a week since Clive Stafford Smith began his hunger strike.

The Stand Fast for Injustice Campaign is run by a group called Reprive. This campaign encourages the idea of hunger striking to rally support for the prisoners held in Guantanamo who continue to be force fed by the guards to keep them alive.

As a supporter of Reprive, Frankie Boyle donated the £54,650 that he was granted following a Daily Mail lawsuit last December. It has now been reported that this week, the actress Julie Christie has this week done the same thing in an effort to further promote the injustice of Shaker Aamer’s imprisonment.

Follow what Frankie Boyle said about his hunger strike so far on his Twitter page. There is also lots more information about Clive Stafford Smith’s hunger strike on the Save Shakar Aamer campaign, as well as other related articles and an online petition.

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

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

Visit the British comedy guide for further new stories and features.

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Forced Feeding is Apparently “Not Uncomfortable” for Detainees

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The Hunger strike at Guantánamo has now been going on for more then 130 days. According to official figures, 103 of the detainees are now on hunger strike, and the number of detainees being forced fed remains at 30.

Reporters were allowed into the camp on what was believed to be a well choreographed and scripted guided tour. The reporters were allowed to see the force feeding equipment and were told how the medical team used this equipment upon the detainees. According to the doctors and the nurses, no prisoners had complained about this brutal force feeding procedure.

The guards at Guantánamo have been reported as being very patient with detainees. While certain detainees have been accused of throwing feces and urine at guards. This only re-reinforces the guards strategy of not negotiating with detainees, and instead subjecting them to procedures such as force feeding.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera obtained documents that explained the force feeding procedure which could last up to two hours. These documents described how time was a significant factor in ensuring the success of the force feeding procedure.

The tour showed prisoners mouths being covered with a mask while a tube (at least 61cms long) would be snaked down their nose until an x-ray or test dose of water confirmed the tube to be in the stomach of a prisoner. After being force fed, a prisoner would be kept in a dry cell without any water to ensure they did not vomit for 45-60 minutes. If the detainee was to vomit, this force feeding procedure would have to be repeated.

It was also reported that while this procedure was carried out detainees would be heavily drugged, hence their lack of complaints regarding the force feeding procedure. The identity of the detainees are being shared with the top officials at the Pentagon who apparently, do not care about violating medical ethics that force feeding concerns.

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

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The Amnesty Group at Lewes Priory demands the release of Shaker Aamer

The case of Saker Aamer, the last british resident in Guantanamo, has not only upset people close to him. The amnesty group at Lewes Priory School found the indefinite detention and torture of Shaker Aamer wrong and wanted to do something about it. They decided to start a petition at their school which almost all students signed.

After the petition was signed they got the opportunity to visit the House of Parliament to speak with Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt about the release of Shaker Aamer.

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

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Is the UK really trying to bring Shaker Aamer home?

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The situation in Guantanamo is now getting worse. Prisoners claims that they are now being held in solitary confinement and are treated like dogs. They continue their hunger strike and 23 prisoners are being forced fed in a  room where they are being strapped down in a chair while a tube is being forced down their nose. This despite the AMA’s, American Medical Association, criticism of force feeding, saying it is horrible and violates core ethical values of the medical profession. Four prisoners are so weak that they are being shackled in the hospital to prevent them from dying.

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantanamo, fears that he might die in the prison. He hopes he does not, he hopes he will be released before that so he is able to hug his children. A wish that seems will not come true in the near future.

According to the Pentagon, the UK is in no rush to get Shaker Aamer out of Guantanamo. This despite the Parliamentary debate about Shaker Aamer’s release and claims made by foreign secretary William Hague and defense secretary Philip Hammond that they are trying to lobby their counterparts in the US over Shaker Aamer.

At the same time it seems that UK might not meet up with those “conditions”  US have for releasing a prisoner to the country. These claims are being dismissed by Shaker Aamer’s UK lawyer Clive Stafford Smith who says that UK has the best record of taking care of released prisoners.

It seems like there are a lot of excuses to not release Shaker Aamer to the UK, and it also seems like it is getting more and more urgent to get him out of the prison. The question is is it only the US who is the problem or does the UK government have an interest in ensuring a key witness to Government collusion in torture never gets freedom, justice and his day in court.

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

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Obama finally speaks about Guantanamo

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Due to the growing hunger strike at Guantanamo President Obama has now been forced to react. In a recent press conference Obama admitted that the prison had to be closed. He also mentioned that he did not want the prisoners to die and that we had to reflect on why America is doing what they are doing.

Meanwhile the decision to send more doctors and nurses to Guantanamo are now being criticized by AMA, American Medical Association, who claim that it “violates core ethical values of the medical profession”. But US officials seem to be more afraid of the bad publicity of a detainee dying than from torturing the prisoners by forced feeding.

With all of this attention on the prison and a renewed promise from Obama to close Guantanamo, let us all hope that the prison will be closed sooner rather and later.

If you are from the UK, keep on pressuring your MP’s to engage in debates regarding Shaker Aamer’s release. If you are from outside the UK, put pressure on your government to demand Obama close the prison forever and ensure that the prisoners get a new life.

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

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Guantanamo hunger strike keeps on growing

The US officials has now admitted that 100 of the detainees are hunger striking, 21 are being force fed and five of those are hospitalised. One of the prisoners who are being force fed admits that he has lost 30 pounds the last two month, and one of his fellow inmates are now weighing as low as 77 pounds.

A medical team of 40 people have now been sent to Guantanamo as back-up due to the growing hunger strike. US authorities claims that the medical reinforcement has been planned for weeks, but many believe that they are sent because the health of the prisoners are getting worse.

Losing this kind of weight is dangerous and since many of the detainees have  bad health since before, this hunger strike might kill them. One of the inmates whose life is at risk is the last British resident in Guantanamo, Shaker Aamer. He has also said in a statement to his lawyers that even though he can not say names or number, people are dying in Guantanamo.

Last week MP’s debated about Shaker Aamer’s release, and almost all of them could not understand why he had not been returned to his family. There was also raised a question about his health and if he would survive the hunger strike. Many of the MP’s also questioned the fact that Shaker has all of a sudden just been cleared for release only to Saudi Arabia, even though the documents about his release have other information.

Caroline Lucas, MP, said that she believed the only reason why Shaker would be sent to Saudi Arabia is to prevent him speaking out about his abuse, an explanation that is shared with many others.

The EU-parliament has also raised their concerns regarding the hunger strike and are now putting pressure on the US government, especially President Obama, to close down Guantanamo. They also say that they are willing to accept cleared prisoners in to EU member countries, but that the US have to keep their promise to still contribute with costs, not only for the move but also thereafter.

Now that all this focus is on the prison once again, I can not help but wonder what is going to happen. And most of all, what are the countries going to do if US refuses to close down Guantanamo. Are we just going to forget about the prisoners or is someone actually going to do something and really force the US to close it down. Let us just hope that someone does something soon, because I believe that soon it will be too late.

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

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Yesterday’s debate regarding the release of Shaker Aamer

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If you are interested in more information about yesterday’s debate regarding the release of Shaker Aamer in Parliament there is a transcript from the debate available here and also a video from Parliament TV available here

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

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Shaker Aamer talks about the hunger strike

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Shaker Aamers attorney, Clive Stafford-Smith, recently released a statement where he recounted his phone conversation with Shaker Aamer.

Most of the prisoners in Guantanamo have been on a hunger strike since the 7th of February this year. One of those prisoners is Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison. He has during the strike lost 32 lbs which is seriously affecting his already poor health.

The hunger strike was allegedly started because the guards were searching through the prisoner’s Korans and disturbed the detainees during prayers. According to a top Pentagon official the searches will continue since it is alleged that the detainees might hide improvised weapons, food, medicine etc. in them. He fails to acknowledge that prisoners who are devoted Muslims thinks that hiding things in the Koran is an insult to the holy book, just like the searching through them.

To read the statement please click here.

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

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