Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo
2009, 75:00 minutes, Colour, English
“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” tells the story of Guantánamo, extraordinary rendition and secret prisons, examining how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, rounding up prisoners in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for large bounty payments), and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism; for example as missionaries or humanitarian aid workers.
Focusing on the stories of three particular prisoners -- Shaker Aamer (still detained. November 2009), Binyam Mohamed (released, February 2009) and Omar Deghayes (released, December 2007). “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” provides a powerful rebuke to those who believe that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and that the Bush administration was justified in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by holding men neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights, but as “illegal enemy combatants” with no rights whatsoever.
The film contains interviews with former prisoners (Moazzam Begg and, in his first major interview, Omar Deghayes) lawyers for the prisoners (Clive Stafford Smith in the UK and Tom Wilner in the US), and journalist and author Andy Worthington, and also includes appearances from Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, a London-based Imam, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.
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