The London Guantánamo has been campaigning since 2006 for the return of all British residents from the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, the release of all prisoners, the closure of this prison and other similar prisons and an end to the practice of extraordinary rendition. Human rights for all.
Two prisoners were
returned to Algeria on 29 August. The two men, Nabil Hadjarab, 34, and Mouati
Sayab, 37, were among the first prisoners taken to Guantánamo Bay in 2002 and are
the first to be released in almost one year. Neither had ever faced any charges
or trial. There are no details yet about what has happened to them since their
return to Algeria, however prisoners returned to the country are often held
incommunicado for up to two weeks. Algeria does not give any assurances that it
will not torture or persecute prisoners returned to the country. Former returnees
have seen themselves subject to harassment, unfair trials and further
imprisonment. Algeria is not a safe country for prisoners to return to, which
is why prisoners such as former British resident Ahmed Belbacha have preferred to
remain at Guantánamo Bay. Nabil Hadjarab had been one of the hunger striking
prisoners and was force fed. The number of prisoners is now 164 and this latest
move demonstrates that Barack Obama can free prisoners without being blocked by
Congress when he wishes to.
At the end of August,
the number of prisoners still on hunger strike is reported to be 36, with 32
being force fed by nasal tube. The hunger strike, however, which will shortly
enter its seventh month and which has now been ongoing for longer than 200 days,
is no closer to ending. Many prisoners temporarily ended their hunger strike
during the Muslim month of fasting Ramadan, which ended on 8 August. The US
military considers a prisoner to be on hunger strike when they have skipped 9
consecutive meals, thus if prisoners are taking the odd meal here and there,
they are not considered to be on hunger strike.
According to a new
report by investigative journalist Jason Leopold, “The
U.S. Department of Defense has been urged to rescreen all Guantanamo prisoners
to determine whether heavy doses of an anti-malarial drug administered at the
facility between January 2002 and mid-2005 caused brain damage. The drug,
mefloquine, was tagged last month with an FDA [US Food and Drug Administration]
warning of possible side effects that range from depression and anxiety to
psychosis and even suicide.” The
FDA’s updated warning states: “Neurologic symptoms such
as dizziness or vertigo, tinnitus, and loss of balance have been reported.
These adverse reactions may occur early in the course of mefloquine use and in
some cases have been reported to continue for months or years after mefloquine
has been stopped. Psychiatric symptoms ranging from anxiety, paranoia, and
depression, to hallucinations and psychotic behavior, can occur with mefloquine
use […] Cases of suicidal ideation and suicide have been reported.” It has also been recommended that the seven
so-called cases of “suicide” at Guantánamo Bay are reinvestigated to determine
whether the deaths were linked to mefloquine. The recommended dose is 250
milligrams for an adult with malaria, whereas each prisoner transferred there
was administered 1250 milligrams, and there were only two reported cases of
malaria in the period.
released from Guantánamo Bay have complained about being forced to take
different kinds of drugs against their will over the years of their detention.
continued this month in the cases of five prisoners accused of involvement in
the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001 and the case of Abd Al-Nashiri, accused of
involvement in the bombing of US military vessels off the coast of Yemen in
2000. All six men face the death penalty. Arguments related to what evidence
can be revealed to the defendants, their role in the trials and their lawyers’
ability to represent them as a result. Problems with technological facilities
were also raised. Real trials in both cases are expected to start next year.
installation of the popular Splinter Cell computer game franchise, Blacklist,
involves a sequence where protagonist and super-spy Sam Fisher breaks into
Guantánamo Bay posing as a prisoner, allowing players to torture prisoners. The
visuals of the game provide a close look at the prison camp and as with all
games in the series, a highly biased pro-US military slant.
The August monthly
“Shut Down Guantánamo!” demonstration took place on 1 August and was a
solidarity demonstration with the dozens of prisoners on hunger strike in
California against the state’s policy of using long-term solitary confinement
as a means of punishment for prisoners, sometimes extending decades with
serious physiological and psychological consequences. Solitary confinement is
also used at Guantánamo Bay. Ten people attended this demonstration.
Val Brown from the London Guantánamo
Campaign spoke at the CND’s annual Hiroshima Day event in Tavistock Square on 6th
August to mark the 68th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic
bomb on the city of Hiroshima in Japan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btkIbVaKbro
The London Guantánamo Campaign marked the
200th day of the current Guantánamo hunger strike with a brief
action at the Notting Hill Carnival in west London and an online Twitter storm,
which trended at number 5 in the UK for a while. Activists from the Campaign against
American Bases also held a vigil outside NSA Menwith Hill, a US army base.
** DO NOT BEGIN TWEETING UNTIL 13:00 EST/ 12:00 CST/
18:00 BST/ 19:00 CET **
Raise awareness through social media that the current
Guantanamo Bay hunger strike has now reached the 200-day mark. The mainstream
media has overlooked the seriousness of the issue and the US government has
responded with increased violence and repression of prisoners held without
charge and trial for almost 12 years.
Date & Time: Sunday, 25 August:13:00 EST/ 12:00 CST/ 18:00 BST/ 19:00 CET
Length: 1 hour
Copy + Paste these tweets. Do NOT retweet, the hashtag will
If you are writing your own tweets, make sure to include the
Saturday 25 August marks day 200 of the current hunger
strike at Guantánamo Bay. A protest that started in February 2013 against
worsening conditions of detention and perpetual indefinite detention without charge
or trial that has already lasted almost 12 years for almost all the prisoners,
the response was first denial, followed by repression and torture, through the
use of solitary confinement, the removal of personal items from cells,
beatings, physical searches tantamount to rape, the use of plastic bullets,
force feeding by nasal tube and other forms of disproportionate pressure
against debilitated prisoners.
While the number of prisoners reported to be on hunger
strike more than six months later has fallen to around 40, with several dozen
being force fed, this does not mean that the hunger strike is any closer to
ending. Promises made by President Obama to look into the issue and the
detention of prisoners again have yet to produce any concrete results three
months later. Although he recently appointed an official within the State
Department to look into the release of prisoners, he had fired the person he
had previously chosen to do this job in 2009 a week before this year’s hunger
Many people are still unaware of this hunger strike and the mainstream
media has played down its importance, focusing mainly on the process of force
feeding and the use of force and less on the reasons for the hunger strike and
the prisoners’ legitimate demand to know why they are still held there after
almost 12 years without any charges against them or prospects of release.
Hunger strikes can be fatal and cause long-term serious health problems.
Please join us to raise awareness and show solidarity with
the Guantánamo hunger strikers. Follow us on Twitter @shutguantanamo
On Sunday 25 August, the current hunger strike at Guantánamo
Bay will enter its 200th day. Thirty seven prisoners are currently reported to
be on hunger strike, almost all of whom are said to be force fed by nasal tube .
The hunger strikers being force fed include British residents Shaker Aamer 
and Ahmed Belbacha .
Activists from the London Guantánamo Campaign  will
hold an action at the Notting Hill Carnival in west London at 1-3pm with
activists in orange jumpsuits and black hoods to raise awareness of this
increasingly desperate situation.
Aisha Maniar, an organiser from the London Guantánamo
“Just as President Obama’s recent pledges to take action
on Guantánamo Bay bring the world no nearer to the closure of this twenty first
century concentration camp, the recent reported fall in the number of prisoners
on hunger strike is not indicative that the action is coming to an end. This is
not a question of statistics or a maths problem, but the more fundamental issue
of how the US can continue to imprison 166 men, almost wholly without charge or
trial for nearly 12 years, and then counter their legitimate, peaceful protest
with violence and torture?”
4. 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. http://londonguantanamocampaign.blogspot.com
current ongoing hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay will enter its 200th
day on 25 August. To show solidarity with the prisoners and their families, and
to raise awareness of their plight, the London Guantánamo Campaign will mark
this date with two actions:
at the Notting Hill Carnival
and 3pm, the London Guantánamo Campaign will visit the Notting Hill Carnival in
west London with activists wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods and raising
awareness about the hunger strike among the general public.
is attended by over one million people each year and is an excellent
opportunity to raise awareness, as well as coinciding with this date. We last
held an action at the Notting Hill Carnival in 2008 when campaigning for local
resident Binyam Mohamed; he returned to the UK in early
2009. His return was sought at the same time as that of Shaker Aamer, who
remains at Guantánamo Bay, and on hunger strike. Why has he not returned as
looking for volunteers for this action. Please get in touch with us if you are
attending and would like to get involved: by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
storm at 6pm BST/ 1pm EST
London Guantánamo Campaign will also hold a Twitter storm at 6pm BST to raise
awareness. Full details will be provided on our website with the relevant
hashtag and tweets for this purpose closer to the time. You can take part if you
are on Twitter from anywhere in the world on an electronic device with internet
access. Check out our website: www.londonguantanamocampaign.blogspot.co.uk
or follow us on Twitter @shutguantanamo
contact us at the above e-mail address if you require any further details.
current hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay has been ongoing since 6 February this
year. While the number of prisoners taking part has recently been reported to
have fallen to around 50 from a reported maximum of over100 prisoners, out of
the remaining 166, held almost wholly without charge or trial for
nearly12 years, this does not mean that the hunger strike is close to ending. Instead,
the US now faces a larger hunger strike of over 1000 prisoners in California
and has this week ruled to allow prisoners on hunger strike in prolonged solitary confinement
there to be force fed in the same manner as at Guantánamo Bay.
Join our actions and show your solidarity.