Described as “a powerful film that has helped ensure that Guantánamo and the men unlawfully held there have not been forgotten” by Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty International UK, and as “a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy” byTime Out, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” tells the story of Guantánamo (including sections on extraordinary rendition and secret prisons) with a particular focus on how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, how prisoners were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for bounty payments), and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism (as missionaries or humanitarian aid workers, for example).
The film is based around interviews with former prisoners (Moazzam Begg and Omar Deghayes), lawyers for the prisoners (Clive Stafford Smith, the director of Reprieve, and Tom Wilner, who was Counsel of Record to the Guantánamo prisoners in their cases before the US Supreme Court), and journalist and author Andy Worthington, and also includes appearances from Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, Shakeel Begg, a London-based Imam, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.
Focusing on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held) and released prisoners Binyam Mohamed and Omar Deghayes — “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” provides a powerful rebuke to those who believe that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and that the Bush administration was justified in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by holding men neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights, but as “illegal enemy combatants” with no rights whatsoever.
The tour, organized by Anna Minkiewicz, a supporter of Andy Worthington’s work and that of Cageprisoners, is backed by Le Monde Diplomatique in Poland, with additional support from Amnesty International Poland, and is intended to raise awareness of the truth about Guantánamo — that very few of the men held are alleged to have had any connection to terrorist actvities, and that the prison’s very existence is an affront to established laws and treaties, and to common notions of fairness and decency.
The organizers also intend the tour to provide the impetus for parliamentarians to recognize that there are, currently, up to 31 men in Guantánamo who have been cleared for release, but who cannot be repatriated because they face a credible risk of torture or other ill-treatment in their home countries, and to press for Poland to join 15 other countries — including Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland — in offering new homes to some of these men.
We also anticipate that the tour will provide an opportunity for timely discussions about the Polish government’s complicity in the establishment of a secret CIA prison in Poland , following the announcement on January 20 that the “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah has been granted “victim” status by the Polish Prosecutor in connection with an ongoing investigation into the prison, at Stare Kiejkuty, near Szymany. This follows the granting of “victim” status to another “high-value detainee,” Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, in October last year.
Information about the tour is available below.
For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact Andy Worthington. The contacts in Poland are Anna Minkiewicz, Przemyslaw Wielgosz, the chief editor of the Polish edition of Le Monde Diplomatiqueand, at Amnesty International, press officer Aleksandra Minkiewicz.
Please note that other speakers are still to be confirmed, and please also note that Moazzam Begg will only be in Poland on February 1 and 2.
Tuesday February 1, 20:00 hrs: Press conference with Amnesty International and Le Monde Diplomatique + film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.”
Followed by Q&A with Moazzam Begg, Andy Worthington and Draginja Nadażdin, director, Amnesty International Poland.
Kino Muranów, ul. Gen. Andersa 1 (Plac Bankowy, metro “Ratusz”), 00-147, Warszawa.
See the website here or email.
Media partner: międzynarodowy kolektyw Globale (Berlin-Montevideo-Warszawa). Please contact Bartek Kurzyca on (48) 515 603 907 or by email.
Wednesday February 2, 18:00 hrs: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Moazzam Begg, Andy Worthington and Wojciech Makowski, Amnesty International Poland.
Kino studyjne „Kinematograf”, Pl. Zwycięstwa 1, Łódź.
Phone: (48) 42 674 0957 (contacts are Anna Michalska or Jakub Sas) or see the website here, and see herefor a map.
Media partner: The local branch of Krytyka Polityczna. Please contact: Marek Jedliński.
Thursday February 3, 20:00 hrs: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.”
Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington and Draginja Nadażdin, director, Amnesty International Poland.
Kino Rialto, ul. Dąbrowskiego 38, Poznań.
Phone: (48) 61 847 5399 or email Piotr Zakens (also on 600 254 502). Also see the website here.
Friday February 4, 18:00 hrs: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington and ex-MEP Józef Pinior.
Kino Warszawa, ul. Piłsudskiego 64, Wrocław.
Please note that Józef Pinior was a member of the EU commission which investigated EU involvement in rendition and secret prisons.
Phone: (48) 071 342 1246.
Media partner: Kolektyw Falanster. Contact: Aneta Jerska. Also with support from the Odra Film Institution andAmnesty International Wrocław.
Saturday February 5, evening, 20:00 hrs: Film screening – “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.”
Followed by Q&A with Andy Worthington, Anna Minkiewicz and Wojciech Makowski, Amnesty International Poland.
Kino Agrafka, ul. Krowoderska 8, Kraków.
See the website here. or phone (48) 12 430 0179 or mobile: 57 123 233.