British MPs view film highlighting the reality of Guantanamo

By staff writers
22 Jun 2011

A powerful new documentary on the United States' detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has been shown to MPs at the House of Commons.

The film screening this week was followed by a question and answer session with a panel of commentators including former Guantanamo prisoner Moazzam Begg, lawyers Tom Wilner and Gareth Peirce, and former Guardian newspaper journalist, Victoria Brittain.

'Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo' gives a vivid and penetrating account of the torture, extraordinary rendition and the network of secret prisons employed by the Bush administration in its infamous ‘war on terror'.

Focusing on the stories of three prisoners, Shaker Aamer, Binyam Mohamed and Omar Deghayes, the film examines how the US government turned its back on domestic and international law, rounding up prisoners in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening and often for large bounty payments.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, who was one of the MPs co-hosting the screening, said: "This is an immensely important film in helping us to understand the truth about the gross human rights abuses at Guantanamo - which, lest we forget, remains open and fully operational to this day."

She added: "It's especially vital that fellow Members of Parliament see the film; firstly, because we can step up the pressure on the UK government to insist that President Obama keep his promise to close the camp, once and for all. And secondly, so that MPs, both in government and in opposition, can work to ensure that we don't repeat the terrible mistakes of the past."

"We must never again seek to defend our society by flouting the fundamental principles upon which it is based," said the MP.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, commented: "'Outside the Law' is a powerful film that has helped ensure that Guantanamo and the men unlawfully held there have not been forgotten."

[Ekk/3]

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