Thursday, January 10, 2013

MEDIA RELEASE: Campaigners mark Guantánamo 11th anniversary with day of action on Friday 11 January, London

All Roads Lead to Guantánamo – series of afternoon “rendition tours”, leading to vigil outside US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, at 6-8pm
10 January 2012 - For immediate release
Photo opportunity: During the vigil at the US Embassy, there will be a visual display with activists dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods.
Just one week before the inauguration of Barack Obama to his second term, the illegal US military prison camp at Guantánamo Bay will mark its eleventh anniversary; the closure of the prison was once a key election pledge, and the subject of a presidential decree in his first term.
Campaigners in London, led by the London Guantánamo Campaign [1], will mark the anniversary with a symbolic action designed to draw attention to the ongoing plight of individuals caught up in Guantánamo's nefarious web as well as states that have colluded in its continuing existence. It will begin with a series of afternoon walking tours, recounting the journeys of five prisoners to Guantánamo Bay [2]. Each tour will take in the embassies of the states that facilitated their rendition there [3].
All the “roads” travelled will converge for a candlelight vigil outside the US Embassy at 6pm, where the names of the prisoners will be read out in the style of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo [4], as well as messages to President Obama about Guantánamo Bay.
Aisha Maniar, an organiser from the London Guantánamo Campaign, said:
“We’re calling on President Obama to take the opportunity presented by his re-election to make good on his first term presidential decree and election pledge. Eleven years of political inertia, excuses and downright lies have resulted in eleven years of arbitrary detention, torture and legal limbo for 166 prisoners. Four prisoners have died during President Obama’s first term and only 72 have been released [5], even though many more are cleared for release.
“The failure of the United States to recognise international law and due process rights is also the failure of the international community, through its collusion in the torture and “rendition” of these men to Guantánamo Bay, and its failure to assist in closing it down. However, campaigners around the world will not be silenced. We will continue to remind the US government and all other complicit states of their obligations under international law and of the human rights norms they claim to support.
Contact: e-mail:
1. The London Guantánamo Campaign campaigns for justice for all prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, for the closure of this and other secret prisons, and an end to the practice of extraordinary rendition.
2. The daytime tours will cover the journeys to Guantánamo Bay of the five following prisoners:
1 - Shaker Aamer (Saudi national, British resident:
2 - Ahmed Belbacha (Algerian national, British resident:
3 - Omar Khadr (Canadian child prisoner released September 2012, convicted in military tribunal:
4 - Abd El-Rahim Al-Nashiri (Saudi victim of extraordinary rendition, facing trial and death penalty
5 - Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif (Yemeni prisoner died at Guantánamo Bay, September 2012
3. The tours will take place in the afternoon after 2pm (starting at different times). They may be joined by sending an e-mail to the London Guantánamo Campaign or can be followed online via social media: Facebook (, Twitter @allroadsleadg11 and Tumblr

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