To call on US administration to close down camp as soon as possible
29th December 2010: A silent vigil, eight years after the opening of Guantánamo Bay, is being organised.
`Beyond words: silent witness to injustice’ is scheduled to be held on Tuesday 11 January 2010, between 1and 2 pm at Trafalgar Square, opposite the National Gallery, London WC2.
London Guantánamo Campaign is also all set to hold demonstration on eighth anniversary of Guantánamo Bay on 11 January, at 12.30pm, outside US Embassy, London
Since President Obama made his now broken pledge to close Guantánamo Bay 13 months ago, only a few dozen prisoners have been released. As many as 198 remain in a wholly precarious situation after eight years of illegal detention without charge or trial.
Last year, the US administration said that around 80 prisoners could leave; some were accepted by their countries and others were accommodated by other countries, including a handful that came to EU countries, such as Belgium, Ireland, France and Hungary.
The others who remain are effectively stateless refugees. According to London Guantanamo Campaign: `Until and unless all the prisoners are released and sent to countries where their safety is guaranteed, Guantánamo Bay will not close.
`The recent move to block the return of prisoners to Yemen has not helped the situation at all, nor have ongoing attempts to relocate Guantánamo Bay to Illinois’.
The London Guantánamo Campaign will call on the US administration to close down the Guantánamo Bay detention camp as soon as possible and ensure justice for all the prisoners held there.
At 12.30pm, bound demonstrators in orange jumpsuits and black hoods will hold a vigil outside the US Embassy calling for liberty and justice.
Speeches will be given between 1 and 2pm. Speakers include: Jean Lambert (Green MEP), Lindsey German (Stop The War Coalition), Chloe Davies (Reprieve), Andy Worthington (journalist), Yvonne Ridley (journalist), Joy Hurcombe (Brighton Against Guantánamo), John Clossick (Save Shaker Aamer Campaign), Nicki Jameson (Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!) and Maria Gallestegui (Peace Strike).
The organisers add: `The administration will inevitably miss the 22 January deadline it set itself almost a year ago but must not use this failure as an excuse to delay further. The transfer of prisoners to other similar facilities on the US mainland or elsewhere is not a viable solution; it merely extends the eight-year regime of arbitrary detention without charge or trial.
`The US administration must ensure justice for prisoners, by either charging those it can lawfully bring charges against or releasing them. The vast majority of prisoners do not and have never faced charges. Prisoners must be sent to countries where their safety and liberty will be guaranteed.
`The US must also close down other illegal prisons around the world, such as the currently-expanding Bagram Air Base and end its practice of extraordinary rendition, involving the kidnap and torture of alleged suspects.