11 Jan 2024: One vigil and Two Online Events

Worldwide Vigil Against Guantanamo

A vigil will take place on Thursday 11th January from 1pm – 3pm outside the US Embassy in London, organised by Andy Worthington.  Andy co-ordinates this event with groups in Brussels, Washington DC, Detroit, Mexico City and elsewhere around the world. You can read more about what is happening in other cities here. Please let Andy know if you can attend this vigil so he knows how many people to expect at: andy@andyworthington.co.uk

Online Events on the 11th

The first is from 1700-1800 GMT hosted by the American political think-tank New America, featuring Fionnuala Ni Aoliain, who wrote the recent UN report on Guantanamo, ex-detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi, and journalist Andy Worthington.


The second is from 1830-2030 GMT hosted by CAGE, featuring Fionnuala Ni Aoliain, ex-detainees Mansoor Adayfi and Moazaam Begg, and the lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith who has represented a number of the men, plus two additional recently released detainees.


Please also join us for these Guantanamo events in London and online.  The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Closure of Guantanamo, which our group has helped get started, will be meeting at Westminster this month.  Ex-detainees who spoke at the last meeting are now addressing politicians in the United States.

Your support is making a difference!


24 April 2023

‘By forming the APPG, MPs and peers are sending a strong message to the US administration’ – Sara Birch

The new All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Closing of the Guantánamo Detention Facility met for the first time this evening, hearing from a former detainee, his former guard and experts on the notorious prison complex. MPs and peers, many known for their stand on human rights issues, discussed what Britain can do to finally close the prison and find homes or fair trials for the men held there.

The group is co-chaired by Layla Moran MP (Lib Dem) and Chris Law MP (SNP), and spoke with former detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi, author of Guantanamo Diary and whose experience at the prison inspired the film The Mauritanian, directed by Kevin McDonald and starring Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim and Benedict Cumberbatch. Sitting next to him was his former guard, and now friend Steve Wood.

The group also heard from Andy Worthington, journalist and author of The Guantanamo Files. He was able to update members on the current situation at Guantánamo, which still holds 30 remaining detainees, 16 of them cleared for release but still detained. He was questioned closely by peer Helena Kennedy, who was active in past successful efforts to free the camp’s British nationals.

The new APPG is comprised of the following members from both Houses of Parliament:

House of Commons

Layla Moran MP (Lib Dem)

Chris Law MP (SNP)

Sir Peter Bottomey MP (Con)                        

John McDonnell MP (Lab)                   

Caroline Lucas MP (Green)                           

Richard Burgon MP (Lab)

Rachael Maskell MP (Lab)

Andy Slaughter MP (Lab)

House of Lords

Helena Kennedy (Lab)

Shami Chakrabarti (Lab)

Sayeeda Warsi (Con)

John Hendy (Labour)

The group is scheduled to meet again in June, and look further into the individual cases of the remaining detainees. As support for closing the prison continues to grow, the important question is what will become of the men – how they will get fair trials or new homes and the means to restart their lives.

Sara Birch, Convenor of the UK Guantanamo Network, said:

“It’s heartening that parliamentarians are taking a stand to call for the closure of the Guantánamo Detention Facility.

“By forming the APPG, MPs and peers are sending a strong message to the US administration that, after more than 20 years of detention without trial, it’s high time to end this affront to the rule of law.”

Amnesty International UK press release

Talk with former detainee Mansoor Adayfi

Online Discussion: Guantanamo at 21 – Wed 11 Jan, 2023

Everything you want to know about the hopes for closure of the prison and what has become of the men who were imprisoned, including many who have been cleared for release years ago but are still trapped there. Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files will be speaking to Mansoor Adayfi, who spent 14 years in Guantanamo and is the author of Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo.

Guantanamo at 21 – Demonstration in London and petition to the British Prime Minister

On Saturday the 14th of January, 2023, campaigners of all ages and from various organisations marked the 21st anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo with a procession and vigil in London. 35 men remain in the lawless facility – either cleared for release or detained due to unfair trials/without charge. How can this gross travesty of basic justice under the rule of law be allowed to continue. Blair called it ‘an anomaly that at some point has to be closed’.

The current Foreign Secretary last week on 12th January, in response to a parliamentary written question confirmed that the UK’s position is that Guantánamo should be closed. After our the protest yesterday a delegation on Guantánamo Network members handed in a petition to the the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insisting that as a member of the international community and a signatory of International Conventions upholding human rights the UK has a responsibility to take concrete steps to call for the closure of Guantánamo. Unlike other countries in Europe, the UK has never resettled former prisoners who cannot be safely repatriated.

The Guantánamo Network has also urged the UK government to enter into discussion with the U.S. State Department regarding the resettlement of one or more of the 20 men who have been cleared for release and yet continue to languish in Guantánamo. Please join the call for justice for those still detained and for those who have previously been detained for years on end without charge or trial. Visit: www.ukguantanamo.org

Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, was also able to add to his hundreds of photos of people marking the 7671 days the prison has been open. See some of them here:



We hold vigils in London every month and always need volunteers. Contact us at info@ukguantanamonetwork.org.