Socialist Worker

Spain drops charges against Omar Deghayes and Jamil el-Banna

Issue No. 2091

Campaigners for British Guantanamo Bay detainees Omar Deghayes and Jamil el-Banna were celebrating today at the news that authorities have dropped attempts to extradite the two men to Spain.

Omar and Jamil were released from Guantanamo Bay back to Britain in December last year – but were immediately placed back in legal limbo with the extradition requests against them.

Now Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon has ruled that the two men are not fit to stand trial in Spain because of mental and physical problems arising from their time in Guantanamo—and has consequently dropped proceedings against them.

Omar was blinded in one eye by his US captors. Both men were subject to torture and ill-treatment during their five year detention in the prison camp.

Jackie Chase from the Save Omar campaign told Socialist Worker, 'We're delighted to hear that the Spanish authorities have seen sense and decided not to pursue this extradition request any further.

'Everybody should now be satisfied these men pose no threat whatsoever. Omar and Jamil should be left in peace to get on with their lives—although they will always bear the scars of the crimes committed against them.

'This whole case has highlighted how wrong it is to depart from a system of law by allowing people to be detained without charge and subjected to torture and other appalling practices.'

Jackie added that the Save Omar campaigners would be coming to the Stop the War march in London on 15 March to demand the release of the two remaining British residents in Guantanamo, Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer and Binyam Mohammed al-Habashi.

'We need to stand up and demand they shut down Guantanamo Bay, Belmarsh and the whole network of secret CIA torture camps around the world,' she said.

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Thu 6 Mar 2008, 17:54 GMT
Issue No. 2091
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