Wednesday, January 11, 2017

MEDIA RELEASE: 15 Years of Guantánamo is No Laughing Matter: London Guantánamo Campaign to Mark Anniversary with Protest, Trafalgar Square, Wednesday 11 January 2017, 12-2pm

For immediate release: Wednesday 11 January 2017
The London Guantánamo Campaign [1] and human rights activists will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the opening of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp with a “Sad Clown Protest” [2] on the north side of Trafalgar Square, outside the National Gallery in London at 12-2pm on Wednesday 11 January 2017.

As part of this protest action, at 1pm, activists dressed in clown suits will hold a visual action demanding the closure of Guantánamo Bay.

Aisha Maniar, organiser from the London Guantánamo Campaign, says, "The fact that Guantánamo remains open and operational after fifteen years with 55 prisoners, almost all held without charge, trial or even the prospect of a trial throughout that period, is an unfortunate indictment of the state of global politics today and of the blatant disregard by states for international law and human rights.

“The US military did not capture but bought 86% of the total prisoners held at Guantánamo [3]. Consequently, the never-ending recycling of Bush-era myths concerning the alleged danger posed by prisoners is proof that the extralegal regime remains indefensible and is a perversion of the freedom and justice it claims to protect.

“Guantánamo Bay will certainly still be open after Barack Obama leaves office and his inability and many missed opportunities to close what he once called a “misguided experiment” will be marked as a major failure in his legacy. It is also a failure of the US’s allies who have not spoken out strongly enough in condemnation of practices at Guantánamo and who have in many cases colluded knowingly in the extralegal detention and torture of their own citizens there.”



1. The London Guantánamo Campaign was set up in 2006 and 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.  

Since 2008, the London Guantánamo Campaign has each year been the sole organiser of the UK protest to mark the anniversary of Guantánamo Bay opening on 11 January 2002.

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