Remembering the Victims of Torture in Guantánamo

Shannonwatch Vigil 9th Jan 2011 remembers the forgotten prisoners still in GuantánamoMargaret Mead, the U.S. anthropologist and author once said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” With that in mind, 11 people gathered at Shannon today to protest against the collusion of the airport and the Irish government in U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As the airport is also known to have assisted the CIA crews taking kidnapped men and boys to Guantanamo Bay where they were systematically tortured, the group also remembered the men who died there as a result of this torture, and the 174 men still illegally detained in Guantanamo.

We invite you to join with us to ensure these men are not forgotten. Write to one of them to say you care.

January 11th marks the beginning of the 10th year of confinement, abuse and injustice for the men at Guantanamo despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s promise to close it and to end torture. President Obama has also failed to renounce extraordinary rendition and to hold former President Bush and his administration accountable for torturing prisoners in Guantanamo and in other locations around the world.

Many of the aircraft that brought kidnapped prisoners to Guantanamo passed through Shannon, and to date no effort has been made by the Irish Government to investigate or end this complicity in torture and other human rights abuse. This is despite the fact that they knew about it. A released embassy cable from Wikileaks has shown that Minister Dermot Ahern was “quite convinced” that the U.S. had operated flights involving prisoner renditions through Shannon.

Let the Irish government know in no uncertain terms that you are outraged by their quiet complicity in kidnapping and torture – by writing to them or by telling them directly when they come looking for your vote in the upcoming general election.

Take a few moments to remember the 5 men who were tortured to death in Guantanamo. They are:

  • Ali Abdullah Ahmed, Yemeni citizen Died in custody June 2006 Aged 36
  • Mani al-Utaybi, Saudi Arabian citizen Died in custody June 2006 Age 25
  • Yasser al-Zahrani, Saudi Arabian citizen Died in custody June 2006 Aged 23
  • Abdul Rahman al-Amri, Saudi Arabian citizen Died in custody May 2007 Aged 32
  • Abdul Razzaq Hekmati, Afghan citizen, Died in custody Dec 2007
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