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Shannon Vigil Highlights Broken Promises over Guantanamo and Renditions

category clare | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday January 12, 2010 00:45author by John Lannon - Shannonwatch Report this post to the editors

On January 10th eight people braved the cold conditions at Shannon to highlight the broken promises of the US president and the Irish government over Guantanamo and renditions. Shannon airport is known to have facilitated the illegal US rendition programme and may even continue to do so.
Keeping a watchful eye ...
Keeping a watchful eye ...

On taking office, US President Obama committed his administration to closing Guantanamo within a year. But the process of releasing, relocating or prosecuting the men that are still detained there has stalled. On this, the 8th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo, it is shameful that almost 200 prisoners still remain in inhumane detention there. They have been separated from their families for most of those eight years. They have been tortured. And the US government has acknowledged it has no evidence on most if not all of them. But they remain in illegal detention.

In Ireland the Government’s lack of progress in carrying out a review of the law on searching suspected renditions flights is also quite shameful. In November 2008 they announced the set up of a Cabinet committee to review the law and ensure Gardaí had the power to board and search suspected rendition flights. To date there has been no sign of this review.

Shannon’s role in facilitating renditions has been well documented (see the Amnesty International report, 'Breaking the Chain: Ending Ireland’s role in renditions' at http://www.amnesty.ie/amnesty/upload/images/amnesty_ie/...n.pdf). And this support for illegal CIA kidnapping and torture may well be continuing. In December Shannonwatch announced that since March 2009, five aircraft that have been linked to renditions have been recorded at the airport (see 'Shannon Airport may still be a Stop-off for Illegal Rendition Flights' at http://www.shannonwatch.org/suspect_rendition_flights_2...9.htm). Even though the Obama administration announced that the CIA's torturous interrogation program was to end and that its secret prisons were being shuttered, the CIA is still permitted to carry out renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the US. Without action from the Irish government Shannon may still be aiding and abetting torture.

The vigil on Jan 10th showed that opposition to what is happening at Shannon will continue until effective action is taken by the government to end it. So too will the GArda presence it seems. They were on hand as usual on Sunday to protect the public from the truth - with vans, police cars, metal barriers and over a dozen officers in position to deny eight peaceful protesters access to the airport. As the uniformed men and women that blocked the road shifted uncomfortably, it was not clear if it was the cold or their consciences that was the problem.

Shannonwatch is grateful to their friends and colleagues in Galway Alliance Against War who braved the weather conditions to travel to Shannon on Sunday for the vigil.

See also:

Amnesty International: [Irish] Government failing on renditions as world marks 8 years of Guantánamo (http://www.amnesty.ie/live/irish/article.asp?id=39084&p...ge=00)

Witness Against Torture Fast and Vigil to Shut Down Guantanamo, End Torture and Build Justice, January 11-22, 2010 (http://witnesstorture.org/2010)

Related Link: http://www.shannonwatch.org

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   well done!     Fintan Lane    Tue Jan 12, 2010 00:59 
   The big police van is such a joke...     citizen    Tue Jan 12, 2010 06:38 
   D.C. Fast - Day 1 Report     D.C. Fast - Day 1 Report    Tue Jan 12, 2010 15:17 
   Well done     Paul o toole    Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:41 
   Day 3 D.C. Fast Report     Day 3 D.C. Fast    Thu Jan 14, 2010 15:30 
   US Military     Peter Joyce    Fri Jan 15, 2010 18:23 
   the military.     Blake    Fri Jan 15, 2010 22:23 
   Aid is as aid does...     paul o toole    Sat Jan 16, 2010 01:41 
   Helping once doesnt mean you can murder millions.     Conor. M    Sat Jan 16, 2010 18:56 
 10   Humanitarian Aid? Iceland, China, THEN the US...     Greg fan.    Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:07 
 11   Vid Interview with Carmen Trotta in D.C. (1.45)     Interview D.C.    Sun Jan 17, 2010 15:31 
 12   John Yoo Luncheon Gatecrashed by Anti-Gitmo activists     John Yoo crashed    Mon Jan 18, 2010 16:11 
 13   42 Arrested in Capitol Building D.C. - Shut down Gitmo!     42 arrested    Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:42 
 14   Keep up the watch     Edward Horgan    Fri Jan 22, 2010 16:55 


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