Campaigners will march from Marble Arch in London to the US embassy this Saturday to demand the closure of Guantanamo Bay and the return of the remaining British detainees there to this country.
Eight British residents are still incarcerated in the US run military prison with no prospect of a trial or release. Jamil el?Banna came to Britain in 1994 as a refugee from Jordan and was granted permanent leave to remain. But in November 2003 he was kidnapped on a trip to Gambia and is now being held in Guantanamo.
Socialist Worker spoke to Jamil’s wife Sabah, who lives in north London. “This march is for the three men who died in Guantanamo Bay recently,” she said. “But it is also for all of the prisoners held there.”
Sabah’s only contact with Jamil has been through heavily censored letters. “I don’t want him to be worried about us, so there is so much I cannot tell him. I can’t tell him his brother has died, or how worried his mother is about him,” she said.
Jamil’s incarceration has been particularly hard for the children, she adds. “My son is only nine years old. He doesn’t understand much about the world, but I try to explain what’s happening.
“When he saw on the news that George Bush had told a reporter that he would ‘like to close Guantanamo’, he laughed and jumped for joy, thinking that his father would be home.
“I pray to god that this will be finished soon. I can understand that I have to be strong – but the children? That’s why we are trying to help not just all those in Guantanamo, but their families as well.”
Shut Guantanamo Now – Saturday 15 July. Assemble Marble Arch, London, at 12 noon. Supported by the National Guantanamo Coalition, Save Omar Deghayes, Stop the War and others.
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle