Sunday, November 25, 2012

No More Secrets

Kidnapped, detained, tortured - a victim of the west's secret war
23 November 2012 - When Omar Deghayes stepped off the train in Bradford on a cold, wet Friday night it's unlikely that anyone suspected this casually dressed, middle-aged man with a slight limp had spent over six years detained without charge in the world's most notorious detention camp.

The broken bones in Deghayes's nose testify to the suffering in the torture chambers of Guantanamo - torture the British authorities are accused of complicity in.

At the infamous prison camp he was blinded when a guard sprayed pepper spray into his eyes and then used fingers to stab his eyeballs. Water poured from both eyes. Three days later the sight returned in his right eye, though bright light still hurts - an after-effect of living under Guantanamo's constant, glaring lights.

I met Deghayes, pictured, at the recent launch of No More Secrets, a campaign by human rights group Cageprisoners to highlight concerns that the coalition's Justice and Security Bill will end open justice in Britain's courts.

I should have met him two years before at a talk at Bradford's Impressions gallery, which staged an exhibition of Edmund Clark's award-winning photographic project When The Lights Went Out, documenting conditions in Guantanamo and Deghayes's then recent return from the camp. Clark told a packed gallery about the thousands of letters to Deghayes which had contributed to his release by highlighting public awareness of his case. But then he still felt unable to speak about his experiences in public and cancelled at the last minute. read more>>>

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