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Banned Books of Guantánamo

19/02/15 7:00 pm

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This January marks 13 years since Guántanamo Bay prison was established. Opened under the Bush Administration and vowed to be closed by President Obama, the prison remains open and operating with a total of 122 prisoners still incarcerated, many without charge or access to a fair trial.

In this timely event our guest speakers, including Andy Worthington, Ian Cobain, Clare Algar and Jo Glanville, will discuss the list of books banned in Guantánamo, as well as the wider issues pertaining to this-censorship, the politics and perceived threat of literature, and the use of indefinite detention.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter. He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign, the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, calling for the immediate release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and of two other books about the British counter-culture. He is also the co-director of the documentary film, Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo. Andy has written for the New York Times and the Guardian, and has worked with the United Nations, WikiLeaks and Reprieve. His website is: www.andyworthington.co.uk 

Ian Cobain has been a journalist for more than 30 years and is currently an investigative reporter with The Guardian. His work has included an examination of the UK’s involvement in the unlawful detention and mistreatment of detainees since September 2001 and in Iraq following the 2003 invasion. He has won the Martha Gellhorn Prize, the Paul Foot Award and a number of Amnesty International media awards, as well as a human rights award from Liberty and a Political Book Award. His book ‘Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture‘ is banned in Guántanamo.

Clare Algar is Executive Director of Reprieve, an organisation that provides free legal and investigative support to those facing execution, and those victimised by states’ abusive counter-terror policies. Before working at Reprieve, Clare worked as a litigator in a commercial law firm for eight years, where she was made partner at the age of 28 and led significant pieces of civil litigation. She regularly appears as a commentator in the media, including Newsnight, the Today programme, the Daily Mail, and the Guardian. Clare is also Chair of the board of the campaigning organisation, 38 Degrees.

Jo Glanville is director of English PEN, a charity that campaigns for the protection of freedom of expression. She was an award-winning editor of Index on Censorship and a BBC current affairs producer for eight years. She appears regularly in the media as a commentator on culture and freedom of expression, including the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the London Review of Books.

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