HUNDREDS of demonstrators in orange boiler suits assembled next to the American Embassy in London yesterday, demanding: ‘Close Guantanamo Bay!’
They were demonstrating on the sixth anniversary of the opening of the US concentration camp, where detainees have been held without charge or trial, and which has been condemned as a ‘torture’ camp by human rights campaigners worldwide.
Yesterday’s protest organised by Amnesty International was part of protests taking place all over the world.
‘It’s time for Guantanamo Bay to close. After six long years these totally illegal detentions must come to an end,’ said Kate Allen, UK Director of Amnesty.
She added that stories are ‘coming out of Guantanamo again and again of abuse and torture.’
She told News Line: ‘The UK government has been very slow to raise its concerns, very slow indeed.
‘There are still almost 300 people held in Guantanamo.
‘There are other detention places, some of which we know of, some of which we don’t, and in that sense Guantanamo is the tip of an iceberg.’
Katrina Jorgensen, who took part in the demonstration, said: ‘It is the sixth anniversary of Guantanamo Bay, where people are not allowed a trial.
‘I think everyone believes that everyone has the right to a fair trial, and as things stand at the moment the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are not getting that. It should be closed immediately.’
Loz Thornton said: ‘I feel it’s unfair that people haven’t come up for trial.
‘There’s a lot of innocent people being held without trial – for six years – and someone’s got to do something about it.’
‘Guantanamo Bay detention centre is in my opinion the single biggest blight on humanity in the world today,’ another demonstrator said.
Amnesty UK press spokesman, Steve Ballinger, said: ‘We’ve been out in the “Guantanamo cell’’ all through the night outside the US Embassy, to send a strong message to the US authorities that Guantanamo Bay should be closed immediately.’