US Independence Day Prisoner Solidarity Protest

Extract from this indymedia article:

The London Guantánamo Campaign marked American Independence Day on 4 July with a political prisoner solidarity protest in the evening outside the US Embassy in Mayfair. Around 25 people attended…

Earlier in the day, a new statue of Cold War president Ronald Reagan was unveiled outside the Embassy. An inscription on the statue reads, in his words: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction”. Along with “…liberty and justice for all” at the end of the American pledge of allegiance, these words are all little more than a mantra, contrasting starkly with actual US practice.

For prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, this has translated into almost 10 years of imprisonment without trial or charge. The story is similar for other prisoners held arbitrarily in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere.

The situation in American prisons is not much better with prisoners in California starting an undetermined hunger strike on 1 July to demand better prison conditions in particular an end to the practice of prolonged solitary confinement, whereby prisoners, particularly at harsh “supermax” prisons may not see another human being for years. These are the same facilities that were proposed to hold Guantánamo prisoners if transferred to the US mainland and would also house terror suspects extradited under the one-sided extradition treaty Britain signed with the US resulting in the 2003 Extradition Act, whereby individuals can be extradited to the US with the need for prima facie evidence to be produced against them. European law finds the conditions of prisoners held at such prisons to be inconsistent with human rights practice and in some cases tantamount to torture…

Naomi Colvin from the UK Friends of Bradley Manning spoke about the harsh conditions alleged Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning has been held in over the past year and the responsibility the British government has towards him as a joint US-UK national. Manning, who faces a series of charges and potentially the death penalty, has yet to face trial of any kind. An article published in the New York magazine this week focuses on his story.

Read the full article here.

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