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Derek McMillan

Christmas at Guantanamo

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Omar Deghayes, British resident imprisoned without charge or trial and currently being tortured in Guantanamo bay will be spending Christmas in prison while Blair and co are enjoying themselves.

The Save Omar campaign - whose only demand is that he should stand trial if he has committed any crime - are asking all supporters to post Christmas cards with anti-Guantanamo and Justice for Omar greetings to the Prime Minister and the relevant members of his cabinets. Here are their addresses:

Prime Minster Tony Blair

10 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA

Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

19 King Charles Street

London

SW1A 2AH

Home Secretary John Reid

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

I think the world has learnt a great deal about the nature of democracy from Guantanamo. It truly is an educational initiative.

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Here I am replying to myself again but I got this from the campaign this morning.

You know there was a lot of discussion about this on the "other" education website. Perhaps this is because there are more supporters of torture over there?

Suggested letter to the PM

Insert your address

Insert date

Prime Minister Tony Blair

10 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister ¬¬¬¬

I am writing to request that the British government agrees to the

immediate release by the United States government of Omar Deghayes

from Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay allowing him to return to his family

and friends in the UK.

Omar Deghayes is a UK resident who has been living near Brighton for

twenty years. His family fled Libya in 1987 following the

assassination of his father who was a political opponent of

Gaddafi's regime. Omar's family are British citizens and they,

including him, were given refugee status. In March 2006 a judicial

review was heard in the High Court, London and it was noted

that "there is respectable academic support of the proposition that

refugees should be accorded diplomatic protection by the State which

has accepted that status".

Omar Deghayes has been held in Guantanamo Bay since September 2002.

There have been reports of torture in Guantanamo from the most

respected international bodies, including the United Nations. I have

concerns about the treatment of Omar Deghayes. There has been no

legal proceeding in a case against him and there has been no

evidence presented that has been made available to legal, public or

independent scrutiny.

The arrest, transportation, internment and torture of the detainees

held in Guantanamo may be breach of Articles 5, 9 and 10 of the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights which state that:

• No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or

degrading treatment or punishment.

• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or

exile.

• Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public

hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal in determination of

his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

These principles are embodied in the European Convention of Human

Rights and Britain's 1998 Human Rights Act.

I will look forward to receiving your response to my concerns about

the torture of Omar Deghayes and what steps you are taking to enable

his return home to the UK.

Yours sincerely

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