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Monday, 18 December 2006
Bring Omar Home

Bring Omar home

This afternoon I met with two of my sisters in a central spot to plan our joint Christmas lunch: The Prince Albert pub in Bletchingley.  In the pub I met three walkers doing the Bring Omar home from Guantanamo Bay walk from Brighton to London. The Prince Albert seems to be on an important route: earlier this year I met some other people doing the Back to Bedlam walk less than a mile down the road towards Outwood.  Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera on me (not even my mobile phone) so I will have to do with using the photo on their campaign postcard.

Bigblue lived through a period in the old South Africa when thousands of people were locked up for months without trial, were imprisoned under unjust laws, and were sometimes assassinated, because they opposed apartheid. At one stage democrats in South Africa were calling for detainees of the Apartheid regime to be charged or released. Later the call was modified to simply call for the release of detainees - how could one support charging or imprisoning anti-apartheid activists under unjust laws?  There are 9 British residents who have now been detained illegally for over 5 years in Guantanamo. It is simply time to send them all home.

Here is the wording from the pamphlets they had left lying on tables in the pub:

The British Government and Guantanamo: Lies and Endless Delay

The United States have offered to release 9 British residents currently being held in Guantanamo if they were subject to control orders or surveillance on their return to Britain. British officials have refused because MI5 do not believe the Guantanamo detainees pose a threat sufficient to warrant these measures. Meanwhile in the High Court, lawyers for the British Government claim they cannot request the return of detainees because, among other things, it would damage US-British foreign policy relations. This decision is being appealed in the House of Lords but as the British government plays political games, the lives of detainees and their families is being destroyed.

Omar Deghayes, a Brighton man, is one of the Guantanamo detainees

Omar Deghayes, a thirty-eight year old married man with a young son, has lived with his family in Saltdean, just outside Brighton, for 20 years.

  • In 2001 he was kidnapped fleeing Afghanistan with his Afghan wife and their child
  • He was tortured in Baghram airbase, then flown to Guantanamo Bay
  • He has never been charged with any crime
  • No evidence against him has ever been made available for legal scrutiny
  • Omar’s arrest, detention and treatment by United States guards are all in breach of human rights legislation
  • Like other detainees, Omar has been systematically beaten and tortured by US guards at Guantanamo
Support our Brighton to London Free Omar Walk

Details of the walk follow.  It started on Saturday 16 December at Brighton Pier and is due to end on Tuesday 19 December in Whitehall, London. Supporters have been asked to meet the walkers at Brixton Tube at noon on Tuesday and walk the last few miles to Westminster Bridge (or all the way to Downing Street, where they face arrest for entering the Westminster Exclusion Zone.

As the protesters in the pub said yesterday afternoon: If you can’t protest outside parliament, then where can you protest?.

Posted by bigblue on 18/12/2006 at 06:08 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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