Socialist Worker

Free the Guantanamo Bay hostages

Issue No. 2045

Omar Deghayes

Omar Deghayes

Bisher al-Rawi, a British resident incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay after being detained in Gambia in 2002, finally came home on Monday of this week. Abu Bakr Deghayes, brother of British detainee Omar Deghayes, spoke to Socialist Worker about why the camp should be shut down for good

‘Bisher’s release has given us hope. If it wasn’t for all the campaigning, I don’t think he would be back. So this has given the campaign a push – we’re determined to continue until everyone is released from Guantanamo Bay.

The British government has demanded immediate access to the sailors being detained in Iran, and rightly so. But it never demanded immediate access to the detainees held in Guantanamo Bay. It’s a heartbreaking double standard.

We want to see Guantanamo Bay closed down completely. People have been held there without charge for five years now.

We need to tell the US government that the illegal detention of ­people is simply not acceptable. It sets a precedent for the whole world that human rights are an optional extra.

Our campaign to free Omar is still going strong. We plan to challenge the British government in the House of Lords over its decision not to represent British residents still detained in Guantanamo – most of whom are refugees based in this country.

Bisher’s release makes it clear that the British government can bring the residents home if it wants to. It’s not the case that the US government doesn’t listen to them.

They’ve now released Bashir – what about Omar, or Jamil el-Banna, or the other residents? We’ve got to get all of them home.’

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