Director Michael Winterbottom has just finished making The Road to Guantanomo, a documentary-drama telling a story of the Tipton Three from their perspective. The boys were taken by the US military to Guantanomo Bay and kept their for two years before being released without charge. It opened at the Berlin Film Festival where it won awards and acclaim. Channel 4 financed it and will be showing it on 9th March.
Yesterday morning I went to its advance screening where the team confirmed an assertion first made by Craig Murray that the actors and one of the Three were repeatedly detained on the way to and back from Berlin under anti-terror laws.
On Monday The Lip published an exclusive interview with actor Rizwan Ahmed who was detained for longer (now released as a statement by C4), followed by The Guardian and BBC Online with more details yesterday.
The police statement said: “Part of the counter-terrorism act allows us to stop and examine people if something happens that might be suspicious.” Meaning: you know…. if they happen to have beards and brown skin…that sort of thing. A bit of harassment will go a long way to combat terrorism I’m sure.
A point they both omitted: Winterbottom called for Gitmo to be closed, but added that the facility seemed to be the “public image” of detainees following Afghanistan’s invasion designed to attract all the attention. A smokescreen if you may, to deflect attention from the hardcore elements they want to deal with in other ways in secret jails.
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Filed in: Civil liberties,Current affairs,Party politics