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article imageAssange 'The World Tomorrow' — Ep. 5: Surviving Guantanamo Bay

By Anne Sewell     May 15, 2012 in World
London - This week's episode features an interview between Julian Assange, a former Gitmo prisoner and a human rights campaigner fighting for those still imprisoned.
Guantanamo Bay was opened ten years ago as part of the war on terrorism. More than three years after President Obama ordered the closure of the detention camp, it still remains up and running.
Over a year ago, WikiLeaks released a cache of files that exposed the inner workings of Guantanamo Bay where 169 prisoners remain without hope of trial or release.
Talking on the subject of America's War on Terror and the experiences of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Assange interviews Moazzam Begg, born and raised in the U.K., who was imprisoned for five years in Guantanamo as an Al Qaeda suspect, without any charges made against him. They discuss torture and illegal rendition.
Julian Assange  Moazzam Begg and Asim Qureshi.
Julian Assange, Moazzam Begg and Asim Qureshi.
Video screen capture
Begg talks about the torture he experienced during his imprisonment and how a "confession" was forced out of him under terrible conditions.
Begg signed the confession admitting he “was armed and prepared to fight alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda against the U.S.", but only after being hog-tied and beaten as he listened “to the sound of a woman screaming next door I'm told or am led to believe is my wife.” He was shown photos of his children and asked, "what do you think happened to them after we picked you up?"
He secured his release in 2005 after lobbying his government.
Begg believes Obama has ushered in an era where “extra-judicial killing” has replaced “extra-judicial detention.”
He has now joined Cageprisoners Ltd in an effort to assist other detainees of Gitmo.
The second interviewee is Asim Qureshi, who was previously a corporate lawyer in the U.K. He has now started a human rights organisation, Cageprisoners Ltd, which exists solely to raise awareness of the plight of remaining prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and to assist them wherever possible.
Asim Qureshi - Human rights activist with Cageprisoners Ltd.
Asim Qureshi - Human rights activist with Cageprisoners Ltd.
Video screen capture
Both men discuss the plight of Muslims in the post 9/11 world, where there is a thin line between terror and self-defense.
Common law versus Shariah law is discussed and the possible creation of an Arab state. Comparisons are made with the European Union, where various different languages are spoken, and the Arab countries, where Arabic is spoken throughout.
Qureshi discusses the need for Cageprisoners Ltd, saying that it is an important support system for Muslims which tells them that they have the right to stand up for themselves.
Begg states that "survivor's guilt" made him feel the moral duty to be involved and to help other prisoners. Cageprisoners Ltd exists to raise awareness of the plight of prisoners who remain in Guantanamo Bay.
Just after the titles end, a brief question was caught on video with Begg asking Assange what he would feel if he was extradited to the U.S. and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Unfortunately Assange's reply to this was not heard.
"The World Tomorrow" is broadcast live every Tuesday on RT at 11:30 GMT and published on Digital Journal as soon as the video is available.
Previous episodes are as follows:
Episode 1: Julian Assange 'The World Tomorrow' Episode 1 — Hassan Nasrallah
Episode 2: Assange — 'The World Tomorrow' — Ep. 2: Zizek & Horowitz (Video)
Episode 3: 'The World Tomorrow' — Ep 3: Assange & Tunisian president (video)
Episode 4: 'The World Tomorrow' Ep 4. Rajab & El-Fattah: Arab Spring (video)
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