Jean attended a demonstration outside the U.S Embassy yesterday to mark 13 years since Guantánamo bay opened. 13 years to the day later, 148 prisoners remain held arbitrarily, almost wholly without charge or trial. The event was organised by The London Guantánamo Campaign who seek closure of Guantánamo and justice for the prisoners. Giving a short speech, Jean’s key points were:
– there is no contradiction between attending this demonstration, and wishing to be in Paris today. That’s because we need to remember all victims of terrorism, including those in Nigeria, Pakistan and many other countries;
– this is about defending universal values: people want to live in peace and freedom alongside their neighbours;
– we have to acknowledge the irony of listening to President Barack Obama’s beautiful words in Strasbourg in 2009, read out here today, and the European Parliament’s debate of December concerning the US Senate report on the CIA, torture, and extraordinary rendition;
– the European Parliament will continue to pursue the truth about what our national Governments have done – need to apply consistent, not double standards;
– we hope that David Cameron’s trip to the USA this week will see Shaker Aamer return to his family in London; and
– we can only adddress this by strenuously pursuing the closure of Guantánamo or it will forever remain a stain on the international reputation of the United States.
The London Guantánamo Campaign has been campaigning since 2006 for the return of British residents from the prison camp, the release of all prisoners, the closure of this prison and other similar prisons and an end to the practice of extraordinary rendition. Follow @ShutGuantanamo