Jamal Abdullah Kiyemba: British Resident in Guantanamo Abandoned To His Fate (Letter Template Included)
On Thursday 9th February, British resident in Guantanamo Bay Jamal Abdullah Kiyemba was transferred to Uganda by the Americans after the British Government refused to help him. Campaigners for Mr Kiyemba are uncertain if he will be safe in Uganda and call for his immediate return to the UK.
Having grown up in the UK, with his immediate family here, Jamal feels more British than Ugandan, and had asked the UK Government to help him return to his family.
Despite being visited by MI5 agents in June 2002 who told Jamal that they consider him British and that he could still return to Britain, the British government refused to intervene and on February 9th 2006 Jamal was transferred to Uganda by the Americans. On the same day Home Secretary Charles Clarke issued an order indefinitely banning Jamal Kiyemba from the UK.
Jama l Kiyemba was seized by the Pakistani military whilst driving with friends on 19th March 2002. Jamal was interrogated by the Pakistanis and then spent 3 weeks in a hole in the ground where he was occasionally interrogated by US agents. Jamal was then handed over to the Americans by a non-legal process called \”reverse rendition\”, taken to an airfield outside Peshwar, then to Bagram Airforce Base and finally to Guantanamo Bay.
Whilst in US custody, Jamal witnessed the murder of a prisoner at Bagram, he suffered religious abuse – in Bagram he was punished for reciting the Qu\’ran and making the call to prayer; sexual abuse – Jamal was threatened with rape at Bagram; physical abuse and illegal and abusive interrogation techniques – including being subject to a routine where he was periodically hung up on a door for hours at a time; sleep deprivation, being made to kneel for hours at a time with his hands cuffed behind his head, having a sack put over his head both dur ing and in between interrogations, being physically assaulted by the Emergency Reaction Force at Guantanamo Bay working in tandem with his interrogators in an effort to break his will, and being threatened with extraordinary rendition to Egypt if he would not admit to planning jihad.
Jamal Abdullah Kiyemba said:
\”Politics has it that I need to be British to get any help. Am I not? How come? As any Military Police personnel in Gitmo, where\’s this guy from? Answer, they will say Britain! Check my incoming mail and you will find it\’s from Britain. The first interrogation I had…has been by Brits. My GP, my local mosque, my teens, my education, employment, friends, taxes, home, and above all else, my family – it is in Britain. I may not be British according to some piece of paper, but in reality I am a Brit and I always will be…It\’s the Brits that have the ability to stop the injustice that is going on here – to me and many others.\”
Jackie Chase, of the Save Omar Deghayes Campaign, said:
\”The Home Secretary\’s order banning Jamal Kiyemba from the UK is astonishing. Our Government says that \”Guantanamo is an anomaly that must end\” but it is behaving increasingly as though it would prefer people like Jamal Kiyemba, Omar Deghayes and the other British residents, to simply disappear. Our Government has a moral and legal duty to help these people return to the UK.\”
A spokesperson for Cageprisoners said:
\”We are disgusted that after all Jamal has been through the Home Secretary has issued an order permanently banning him from the UK. Our Government should acknowledge its legal and moral duties as the German Government have done by working with the Americans to secure the return to Germany of Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish national who had residency status in Germany when he was seized in 2002. Banning Jamal – who has never been charged with a crime – from returning to the UK is just another way of keepin g him outside the rule of law and due process.\”
Jamal Abdullah Kiyemba\’s lawyers are Clive Stafford Smith, legal director of Reprieve, and Louise Christian.
1. Write to your MP. You can find your MP\’s details on www.faxyourmp.com or www.writetothem.com.
2. Write to the Home Secretary Charles Clarke:
Home Secretary Charles Clarke
50 Queen Ann’s Gate
London SW1H 9AT
SAMPLE LETTER TEMPLATE
Dear [ name of your MP],
I write to express my disgust at the behaviour of the British Government in regard to Jamal Abdullah Kiyemba, British resident imprisoned for 4 years in Guantanamo Bay and transferred to Uganda by the Americans on 9th Febr uary 3006.
It is deplorable that the British Government refused to help Jamal whilst he was in Guantanamo, even though British agents had visited him in Guantanamo and promised that he could return to the UK should he be released. On the same day that Jamal was transferred to Uganda, Home Secretary Charles Clarke issued an order banning him from the UK despite the fact that he has not been charged with any crime and he has spent most of his life in this country.
Jamal Abdullah Kiyemba should be allowed to return home to the UK immediately as should all of the British residents still imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay.
As my MP, I ask you to do the following:
Please ask the Foreign Secretary why The British Government did nothing to help Jam al whilst he was in US custody and pass on to the Foreign Secretary that I am appalled by this behaviour and contend that it is unlawful, discriminatory and morally wrong to refuse to support the 9 British non-nationals on the basis that the government has given – that it can only make representations on behalf of British people with citizenship status. Furthermore such a position can only have a destabilising effect here in the UK, causing uncertainty in immigrant communities and a lack of faith in all sectors that our government is able to stand up for basic principals of democracy.
Please ask the Home Secretary why and on what grounds he issued an order banning Jamal Abdullah Kiyemba from the UK, and express my disgust at this act.
Ask the Foreign Secretary what steps the Foreign Office has taken to ensure the safety of Jamal in Uganda and whether they have any information as to his wellbeing.
Please ask the Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary for details as to any procedure they follow to ensure that any transfers out of Guantanamo to another jurisdiction of people to whom the UK may owe a legal duty, are legal transfers, and whether they followed such a procedure in Jamal Kiyemba’s case.
Take steps to ensure that in accordance with recent recommendations by the Council of Europe, claims by Jamal Abdullah Kiyemba that as a British resident he was subject to a form of non-legal rendition and abuse amounting to torture whilst in US custody, and that he may have been subject to a non-legal transfer out of Guantanamo, are thoroughly investigated by British Parliamentarians.
Call for a full, frank and independent inquiry into imprisonment, torture and abuse of all British citizens and residents by the Americans and agents of any other nation working with them.