Human Rights Go Viral

Via Metafilter:

Guantanamo Unclassified.” Adel Hamad, a 48-year-old Sudanese elementary-school teacher, has been held at Guantanamo for five years without charge or evidence of a crime. His lawyers have been unable to convince a federal court to review his case, so they started started Project Hamad and posted a short movie about him online. This is an example of how human rights activists can use YouTube to bring their cases to the public.

» Link

Related item via the Beeb:

UK Guantanamo man ‘to be freed’
BBC News Online. Thursday, 29 March 2007

A British resident is to be released from Guantanamo Bay, the Foreign Office has announced.

Bisher al-Rawi, an Iraqi national, has been held at the US detention camp in Cuba for almost five years on suspicion of links to terrorism.

In a statement, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said it had been agreed with the US authorities that he would be returned to the UK shortly.

The move followed extensive discussions over security implications, she said.

“The UK will continue to take the necessary measures to maintain national and international security,” Mrs Beckett added. She said discussions with Americans had gone on for one year.

Mr al-Rawi, a businessman from New Malden in south-west London, was arrested along with his Jordanian business partner, Jamil el-Banna, on a business trip to Gambia in 2002 on suspicion of links to terrorism.

Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey, who has been campaigning on behalf of his constituent, welcomed the news.

“I am relieved that after nearly five years in prison without charge or trial, my constituent is now being released from Guantanamo Bay,” he said.

Mr Davey said that everything he had learned from Mr al-Rawi’s family, lawyers and government officials showed he was not and never had been a “threat to national or international security” …

… Zachary Katznelson, of UK charity Reprieve, visited Mr al-Rawi in Guantanamo last month.

“He has been in isolation now 13 months and it has taken its toll on him. But he was doing much better because the end was in sight and that was giving him strength,” he said.

Mr al-Rawi reportedly came to England in 1985 after his father was arrested by Saddam Hussein’s secret police.

He had lived in the UK for nearly 20 years. His immediate family are UK nationals, but he retained Iraqi citizenship.

There has been no signal that his friend, Mr el-Banna, will also be released.

In January, his 10-year-old son joined a Downing Street protest urging the prime minister to lobby for both men’s release.

His MP, Sarah Teather, for Brent East, said: “Both have been detained and tortured with no respect for international law.

“The British government now have a clear moral duty to intervene on behalf of Jamil.”

» Full article

Five years… His son hasn’t seen his Dad for 5 years. Imagine how that has affected him now and in the future.

Five years… since they opened Gitmo. Still no access, hearings or trials for the detainees.

» Amnesty International

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