CLOSE GUANTANAMO BAY - PROTEST AT DÁIL EIREANN, 1.00 pm WEDNESDAY 26 JUNE

IAWM PRESS RELEASE 26 June 2013

CLOSE GUANTANAMO BAY - PROTEST AT DÁIL EIREANN, 1.00 pm WEDNESDAY 26 JUNE

• Irish Anti-war Movement mark UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture by calling for the closure of Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre
• Over 100 detainees now on hunger strike and many being force-fed
• Obama’s shame - Close Guantanamo Now!
• Irish Government should speak out against this torture – silence is complicity!

The Irish Anti-war Movement (IAWM) issued a statement today noting that it was marking the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture by holding a colourful protest at Dáil Eireann at 1.00pm on Wednesday 26 June in solidarity with the detainees at Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD will speak at the protest.

The IAWM statement noted that Ban Ki-Moons message for this day remembering torture victims which calls on member states of the UN to “step up efforts to assist all those who have suffered from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” was wholly inadequate and misleading while torture was being openly practiced by the US Military under the noses of the UN in Guantanamo Bay.

The IAWM statement noted that:

“Many of the over 100 prisoners cleared for release in Guantanamo have been illegally incarcerated for over eleven years and have, in desperation, gone on hunger strike – some since February this year. Many of them are being force-fed on a daily basis by US military personnel – a process that the United Nations Human Rights Council says amounts to torture. The American Medical Association says that force-feeding violates medical ethics. This torture is happening for example to Shaker Aimer, the last British prisoner in Guantanamo who has vividly described his experiences in articles published in the Guardian newspaper through his widely respected lawyer Clive Stafford Smith.”

The IAWM statement noted further that:

“Despite his claims to want to close Guantanamo President Barack Obama has in fact continued the tortuous Bush policy of keeping these prisoners incarcerated in inhumane conditions without charge eleven years after they were apprehended. In addition he is now overseeing the force-feeding of hunger strikers.”

Jim Roche, PRO of the IAWM noted:

“It is truly shocking that these men are still incarcerated after eleven years in what is effectively a torture centre and we express our solidarity with their pleas for justice on this special day that the UN calls on us to remember all victims of torture. There is no doubt that these men have been and still are being tortured. The horrific descriptions of force-feeding described by Shaker Aimer in his recent Guardian articles clearly describe a tortuous process. We are not impressed with the excuses of Obama for not releasing those men who have not been charged. Carlos Werner, an Attorney from Ohio, said on RTE recently that Obama has the absolute power to release the men and close Guantanamo but that he just does not have the courage to do so.”

Jim Roche concluded by noting:

“the IAWM also wishes to draw attention to the silence of the Irish Government who, just last week, lavishly entertained the Obamas at Irish taxpayers expense, without a word of concern expressed about this horrific situation in Guantanamo. Of course this accords with its now well-established complicity in torture and war by allowing Shannon Airport to continually be used by the US military and by rendition flights. It is quite possible that some prisoners at Guantanamo, who are now being tortuously force-fed, passed through Shannon Airport. There is certainly clear evidence that some of the planes involved in the illegal rendition programme did so - thus implicating the Irish people in this torture regime. That is why we protest at the Dáil today.”

See also

- Article in Guardian by Shaker Aamer, the last British prisoner in Guantanamo - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/14/shaker-aamer-justice...

- Letter from prisoner Shaker Aamer –
http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/usa-war-on-terror/2444-the-torture-a...

- Marjorie Cohn, Counterpunch on the over 100 hunger strikers at Guantanamo - http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/usa-war-on-terror/2444-the-torture-a...

- Simon Carswell’s report in Irish Times 220613 - http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/guant%C3%A1namo-still-haunts-us-...

For info contact –

Jim Roche, PRO IAWM - 087 647 2737
Lola Hynes, Secretary IAWM - 086 822 8795

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