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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 17:23 GMT
Cage demo staged over Guantanamo
Guantanamo protest
Protestors staged prison scenes near the US embassy
Campaigners calling for the closure of the US's Guantanamo Bay detention camp have protested in London as part of a global day of action.

Amnesty International built a replica prison cell and held an all-night vigil near the US embassy.

The event was to mark the sixth year of the camp, which Amnesty describes as an "unlawful black hole".

About 300 detainees are currently being held at the camp. The US government describes them as "dangerous men".

'Abuses'

Amnesty volunteers spent the night in a specially-constructed cage in Grosvenor Square, close to the US embassy. The group says the cage was built to the same dimensions as the cells in which the US detains terrorist suspects.

The protest also featured people dressed as prison guards and Guantanamo inmates in orange boiler suits.

Detainees at Guantanamo include architects of the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people from more than 90 countries
US embassy spokesman
Similar protests took place in other locations around the world, including Edinburgh, Budapest, Rome, Manila and Washington.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: "It is time for Guantanamo Bay to close. After six long years these totally illegal detentions must come to an end."

She added: "We are resorting to this cell protest to send a clear message to the US government: close Guantanamo and other secret prisons immediately.

"Guantanamo Bay is an unlawful black hole. It has completely failed to make the world a safer place.

"Instead it has become a symbol for abuses in the 'war on terror' and has had a disastrous effect on respect for human rights around the globe."

'No alternative'

A spokesman for the US embassy in London said: "We would like to move towards the day when we can eventually close Guantanamo.

"But no-one in the international community has suggested a viable alternative for dealing with the very dangerous men who are held there.

"Detainees at Guantanamo include architects of the 11 September attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people from more than 90 countries; bombings in Kenya and Tanzania; the Bali nightclub bombing; and a cell in Afghanistan that targeted civilians, especially journalists and foreign aid workers.

"More then 300 detainees, who have been determined to no longer pose a threat to the international community, have been transferred out of Guantanamo.

"But there are individuals who cannot at this time be transferred as they may be stateless or their countries have not agreed to accept them or have not provided assurances that they will be treated humanely.

"It would be useful for the international community to work to solve this shared problem."

SEE ALSO
Ten Saudi Guantanamo inmates free
29 Dec 07 |  Middle East
Q&A: Guantanamo tribunals
05 Dec 07 |  Americas
Guantanamo manual leaked on web
15 Nov 07 |  Americas

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