Guantanamo Bay

Free Shaker Aamer

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Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee in the world’s most notorious prison camp, Guantanamo Bay, has seen his release delayed once again as Socialist Review went to press.

President Obama gave the statutory 30-day notice to Congress of Shaker’s release on 25 September, so he should have returned around 25 October — his 5,000th day in captivity.

Of the 16 detainees previously released to the UK several others also had their returns delayed. Serious questions must now be asked.

Brown's Guantanamo, Miliband's disgrace

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New Labour is seriously concerned about its election prospects. One of the many fronts on which it is attempting damage limitation is the mounting evidence of involvement by MI5 and the Foreign Office in the Guantanamo torture of British residents.

The so-called "war on terror" is in reality a war of terror, and the Labour government has been intimately caught up in this. It tried to cover this up. It does not read well for a party that wants to present itself on voting day as enlightened, law abiding and anti-racist and as having, in Robin Cook's words, "an ethical foreign policy".

Interview: Moazzam Begg: Operation end your freedom

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As Labour imposes more draconian legislation, Patrick Ward asks former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg for his views on civil liberties today

The government won the House of Commons vote to extend detention without trial to 42 days. What do you think about this attack on civil liberties?

It's important to remember that the government didn't want 42 days - they wanted 90 days and they've settled for less than half of that. What's really bizarre for me is that I was at the protest close to Downing Street when George Bush visited and I actually caught a glimpse of him.

Bad Men

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When George Bush opened his offshore prison camp of Guantanamo in January 2002, he was proclaiming to the world that he and the US were above the law.

In the "war on terror" US agents were given licence to abduct Muslim men from almost anywhere in the world and transport them to prisons. A gruesome list of torture methods was then approved at the highest level.

Women on the Front Line: Keeping Torture at Bay

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Victoria Brittain speaks to Matt Foot about the issues behind her new play Guantanamo.

What made you want to write a play about Guantanamo Bay and what does the title, Guantanamo: 'Honour Bound to Defend Freedom', mean?

I simply wanted to do it as soon as the director, Nick Kent, offered it to me. It is such an outrageous situation just in terms of the obvious illegality of the whole thing. Anything that could draw attention to what was happening, I thought, would be a contribution.It's the title that they had written up outside Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo. You know, like in Auschwitz they had 'Work makes men free'.

Guantanamo Bay: 'This is Not the Dark Ages'

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Moazzam Begg and his wife Sally had fulfilled a lifelong dream to teach and work in Afghanistan, moving to Kabul with their three children a few months before the events of 9/11.

There they built wells giving access to fresh water in remote villages. When the US invaded Afghanistan they temporarily left for Islamabad. Their house was raided, and Moazzam was beaten up and taken away in the boot of a car by two US and two Pakistani soldiers. He was taken first to Kandahar, then Bagram airbase by the US military before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay. He has never been charged with any crime and has been denied any legal access. When five British citizens were released from the camp last month Moazzam was not among them.

War and Resistance: A Perversion of Justice

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Britain is colluding in torturing prisoners from the Afghan war.

The British government claims to act as a restraining force on the US military at Guantanamo Bay, but this is far from the truth.

Last month, in a deeply cynical move, the British attorney general, Peter Goldsmith, claimed to have won concessions on the two British Guantanamo Bay detainees, Feroz Abbasi and Moazzam Begg. He announced that the US government had agreed not to seek the death penalty against the two men.

Torture US Style

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The treatment of Afghan prisoners shows the brutal face of US imperialism.

So there we have it! A 'war against terrorism' turns out not to be a war at all. A 'war of precision' turns out to be a war of totally indiscriminate killing, and a 'war for civilised values' ends up with the most brutal and uncivilised treatment of the enemy.

Somehow it is meant to be the opponents of the war who got it all wrong. All those who thought it a civilising mission are apparently in the clear, despite the evidence in front of their very own eyes.

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