Friday, January 11, 2013

All Roads Lead to Guantánamo...Follow the Action Here!

As well as updating the day's actions on Facebook (, Twitter @allroadsleadg11 and Tumblr, we will be updating the information on this blog every half hour here.

Update on Wednesday 16 January:
The day of action received extensive press coverage and more images and reports can be viewed and read online on Facebook: and Twitter:
Background to the day of action: (video) (article)
Val Brown and Aisha Maniar from the LGC spoke to Russia Today: (video)
Coverage of the tours:
Photographs of Shaker Aamer tour:
Val Brown leading the Omar Khadr tour shot footage of readings from outside each of the embassies the tour visited: (Afghan Embassy) (Spanish Embassy) (Portuguese Embassy) (Canadian Embassy)
Around 70 people braved the cold weather and joined the vigil in the evening outside the US Embassy:
Video report:   
News reports: (Arabic)
Photo reportage:
Pictures from protests around the world:
Messages of support read outside the US Embassy:
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavillion and Hove): “There is no excuse for the continued existence of Guantanamo Bay or the ongoing detention of British residents such as Shaker Aamer. The Green Party calls on President Obama to keep his promise and end what is a stain on America’s reputation globally.”
Green London MEP Jean Lambert: "11 years too long! Guantanamo Bay must close, and all remaining detainees charged with crimes or allowed to return home."
Lib Dem London MEP Sarah Ludford: "“Barack Obama must finally in his second term fulfil his promise of closing the disgraceful legal black hole of Guantanamo and rebuild the US’ human rights reputation. In any case, my constituent Shaker Aamer must return home to his family in London after 11 years of totally illegal incarceration.”

Update at 4:45pm GMT:

Adnan Latif/Ahmed Belbacha tour at Turkish Embassy, more questions from the cops, then on to Portuguese Embassy where they finished at 16:45. Now on to US Embassy for 6pm vigil - Adnan Latif's body left Guantánamo decomposed weeks ago in a ...bodybag to his family in Yemen. His soul left on 8 September 2012. He was 36. His lawyers say Guantánamo and extended arbitrary detention killed him. In 2010, Obama placed a moratorium on returns to Yemen as it was too dangerous.
Ahmed Belbacha, cleared for release almost 6 years, remains at Guantánamo for want of a safe third country to return to. Sentenced in absentia in Algeria in 2009 to 20 years for membership of a "terrorist organisation" abroad, a claim now taken back by the Pentagon, and unwanted by the UK where he lived for 18 months, he remains there for want of a safe place to go.

The Shaker Aamer tour has also come to an end and is heading to the US Embassy too.

The Omar Khadr tour is at the Spanish Embassy and the Abd El Nashiri tour has left the Polish Embassy.

Update at 4:15pm GMT:
The Adnan Latif/Ahmed Belbacha tour took the bus to the Turkish Embassy. A large number of prisoner were flown through Incirlik and to other European countries before being taken to Guantánamo Bay: These were mostly stop-overs and for refueling.

The Omar Khad team is currently en route from the Afghan Embassy, where he was picked up and detained at Bagram for several month in 2002 before being flown to Spain before Guantánamo.

The Abd El Nashiri tour went from the UAE Embassy to the Thai Embassy as he was held at a secret prison there and tortured for several months before being taken to Poland, along with other "high value" prisoners, such as Abu Zubaydah, where they are heading to.

Diplomatic police are still on the look out for our tours.

Update at 3:45pm GMT:
Jean Lambert MEP (Green) for London has joined the Shaker Aamer tour. This tour crossed paths with the Adnan Latif/Ahmed Belbacha tour on Knightsbridge travelling to their respective embassies. Many prisoners travelled the same routes on different dates, hence we combined the Latif and Belbacha tours as they were taken to Guantánamo through the same countries. Moazzam Begg and Russian prisoner Ravil Mingazov, the latter still held at Guantánamo, travelled the same journey as Shaker Aamer on different dates.

The Adnan Latif/Ahmed Belbacha tour has now arrived at the Afghan Embassy and the Abd El Nashiri tour is heading there. El Nashiri was held at the notorious Salt Pit torture prison near Kabul. Afghanistan is also home to the still functioning Bagram prison where the remaining 50-odd foreign prisoners enjoy less rights than those at Guantánamo and which was described by Moazzam Begg as "worse than Guantánamo". Almost all the prisoner at Guantánamo were "processed" through Bagram, regardless of where they were kidnapped.

Diplomatic police have spoken to our tours as the embassies are calling each other and the police to "warn" of Guantánamo activists in the area. "No smoke without fire" is a claim often thrown at the Guantánamo prisoners, the vast majority of whom have never even been tried. Well, that also applies to the governments of states who colluded in the "rendition" and torture of prisoners in spite of their continuing denial and whose silence on the matter has been bought through their complicity.

Update at 3:15pm GMT:
The Adnan Abdul Latif and Ahmed Belbacha tour's first stop was the Pakistani Embassy where Noel Hamel from Kingston Peace Council spoke about the start of their ordeal, Geraldine Cowan from the LGC read out a poem by Adnan Abdul Latif and Dan Viesnik from the LGC spoke to express solidarity with victims of drone strikes in Pakistan. More people have joined the tour and embassy staff came out to take some leaflets. The group is leafleting and talking to the public along Knightsbridge before heading off to the Afghan Embassy.
Both men tried to flee Afghanistan and the violence following 9/11 and the start of the US war in Afghanistan. They were picked up in Pakistan and sold by local tribes and militias to the US military for a bounty. Contrary to popular belief, most prisoners were not combatants but foreign nationals sold by local groups for a bounty of up to $20,000, a small fortune for them.

Update at 2.45pm GMT:
The Abd El Nashiri tour has kicked off at the UAE Embassy at 2pm, the state in which he was kidnapped in 2002 with the help of state agents and handed over to the CIA, before being "rendered" and tortured through 3 continents and taken to Guantánamo not once but twice where he currently faces the death penalty for evidence adduced through torture, including waterboarding.
Pictures here:
He currently has two cases against Poland and Romania at the European Court of Human Rights for his torture there: read the FACTS of his horrific ordeal in this European Court document:

Update at 1pm GMT:
The tours will all commence between 2 and 3pm and will start at the embassy of the country the prisoner was kidnapped in, or captured on the battlefield in the case of Omar Khadr.
News so far about Guantánamo:
Press release from Reprieve about the eleventh anniversary and British resident Shaker Aamer:
Amnesty International UK launches a new petition on the eleventh anniversary for Shaker Aamer:
There is also an ongoing petition to the Prime Minister for Shaker Aamer’s return:

Video in the New York Times about the death of Yemeni Adnan Abdul Latif:

News about the anniversary and today’s actions in the UK:

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