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Gitmo has got to go!

On 11 January, the fifth anniversary of the opening of the notorious detention camps Delta, Iguana and X-Ray at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, was marked by protests and actions in Britain and abroad. Despite near universal condemnation, and ongoing legal battles, the camps continue to operate and hold inmates without charge. Nik Gorecki reports...
An international delegation of former prisoners, families of current detainees, US lawyers and human rights activists travelled to Cuba for the anniversary, to hold a conference on prisoner abuse.

Organised by the US women's peace group CODEPINK, the group also marched to the security gate of the base to call for the closure of the illegal prison. The delegation included peace activist Cindy Sheehan; retired US Colonel and diplomat Ann Wright; and Centre for Constitutional Rights legal director Bill Goodman.

Vigils and solidarity In Warsaw, 40 people from various anarchist groups gathered at the US Embassy to re-enact scenes of prisoner torture, dressed in the now iconic orange jumpsuits and sensory depriving paraphernalia. Further protests were made over the Polish administration's complicity in the extraordinary rendition programme, which has led to prisoners being taken secretly to the Szymany army base, without trial, charge, or legal protection.

In London, more than 300 Amnesty International supporters demonstrated outside the US embassy, clad in orange jumpsuits and adopting “stress positions” (pictured). The international human rights organisation has repeatedly called for Guantánamo's closure. The London demonstration was part of a worldwide series of Amnesty-organised demonstrations held on 11 January; events also took place in New York, Tokyo, Rome, Tunis, Madrid and Tel Aviv.

A separate group of London protesters targeted arms manufacturers Lockheed-Martin for profiteering from Guantánamo.

London and Oxford Catholic Worker communities held a vigil in solidarity with 90 anti-Guántanamo US activists who had been arrested during an occupation of the US Federal Court in Washington DC.

Topics: Human rights