A national tour to mark seven years of unlawful detention, abuse and torture
January 11th 2009 - 4th February 2009
SAMI AL HAJ (Ex Guantanamo Detainee and Aljazeera Journalist)
CHRISTOPHER ARENDT (Ex-Guantanamo Guard)
MOAZZAM BEGG (Ex-Guantanamo Detainee, Spokesman for Cageprisoners)
SAMI MUHYIDEEN AL HAJ
Cageprisoners presents Two Sides – One Story, a tour of the UK that brings those on opposite sides of wire at Guantanamo together for the first time.
Chris Arendt, a former guard at the base has agreed to speak about his experiences in detaining suspected terrorists and bring new insights into the way the US administration carried out policies against them.
Also for the first time the detained Al Jazeera journalist Sami El Haj will be speaking with Moazzam Begg as they both reflect on life at the prison on the opposite to Chris.
This unique tour is a historic moment in the continued War on Terror and will be launched on 11th January 2009, exactly seven years after the first transfers to Guantanamo Bay.
11/01 – Friends’ House, Euston, London, Doors open 6:30pm
12/01 - Bristol
with Bristol Stop the War Coalition and Bristol Amnesty International
20-23 Hepburn Road (off Stokes Croft),
BRISTOL, BS2 8UB
13/01 - Reading
With Reading Peace Group, Reading University Amnesty International Group, Reading Muslim Council.
Humanities and Social Sciences Building,
Reading, RG6 6UR.
Campus map at
Doors open 7.15pm. 7.30pm- 9.45pm
Contact: 0118 958 8281.
14/01 - Brighton
with Brighton Against Guantanamo
Friends Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Brighton
15/01 - Cambridge
with Cambridge Stop the War Coalition
16/01 - Birmingham,
The Rex Centre
430-434 Coventry Rd, Small Heath Birmingham,
West Midlands, B10 0UG.
Parking available on Wright Street.
19/01 - Nottingham
University of Nottingham
20/01 - Sheffield
With Sheffield Guantanamo Campaign, Sheffield Hallam University Islamic Society, Sheffield Stop the War Coalition, Stop Islamophobia Society Sheffield University
Grosvenor House Hotel,
Sheffield, S1 3EH
Doors open 7pm
Open to all.
Contact: 07972 206218
21/01 - Manchester
Geoffrey Manton Building
Lecture Theatre 1 & 2
Manchester Metropolitan University
All Saints Building,
Manchester, M15 6BH
Doors open 5:30pm, 6pm start
22/01 - Liverpool
with Merseyside Stop the War
The Great Hall, at the Cornerstone Theatre, Hope University, 1 Haigh St, near Staples (of Islington & Shaw St), Liverpool City Centre
23/01 - Blackburn
with Woman's Voice and ExChange
2pm - 3:30pm
Contact: 07903731106/01254 503081
23/01 - Bolton
5pm - 7:30pm
Bolton Council of Mosques
1 Vicarage Street ( off Cannon St)
Contact: 01204 363680 / firstname.lastname@example.org
26/01 - Leeds, with Leeds University Islamic Society
Conference Auditorium 1
University of Leeds,
Leeds LS2 9JT,
27/01 - Hull, with Hull Peace Campaign
Quaker Meeting House Bean Street Hull HU3 2PR
Contact: John Beardmore and Martin Dean, 01482 327574
28/01 - York
University of York
29/01 - Newcastle
with Newcastle Stop the War Coalition
Contact: 0771 994 6814/ email@example.com
30/01 - Glasgow
31/01 - Edinburgh
with SACC and Stop the War Edinburgh
01/02 - Edinburgh
03/02 - Belfast
04/02 - Cardiff
For further information:
At the age of 17, Chris Arendt joined the United States Army National Guard due to limited options that he faced in his life. Three years later, Arendt was one of a number of soldiers who were given orders to be deployed at Guantanamo Bay. In January 2004 he began his tour of Guantanamo where he was given the responsibility of feeding the detainees and ensuring that toilet paper was properly dispensed on the prison blocks.
Arendt’s time with the prisoners was cut to two months at which point he was placed at the detentions operations centre as the escort control. He had been moved from his former position due to his interaction with the prisoners who he would speak with in order to keep some sense of his humanity.
Arendt’s dislike for the way in which the detainees at Guantanamo were treated transferred through to his release from service. He has now become an outspoken advocate against the unlawful detentions at Guantanamo Bay choosing to contact former detainees in order to express his regret at having been involved in their detention.
SAMI MUHYIDEEN AL HAJ
Working as a cameraman for Al Jazeera, Sami was given an assignment to cover the US conflict in Afghanistan after war broke out in 2001. Upon entering Pakistan to renew his visa, Sami was detained by the Pakistan authorities apparently at the behest of the US.
After several months detention in Afghanistan, Sami was rendered to Guantanamo Bay where he was detained until his release in 2008. During the six years of his unlawful detention, he was never charged with any crime and or tried in court. Due to the pressure of such a process, he forced himself to go on hunger strike during the last 16 months of
On 1st May 2008, Sami was repatriated to Sudan where he was reunited with his wife and seven year old son who he had never met. He has now been re-employed by Al Jazeera and has made it his primary aim to help those in Guantanamo and those who suffer human rights abuses worldwide.
As a former Guantanamo detainee and spokesman for the prisoner human rights organisation, Cageprisoners, Moazzam appears extensively both in the media and around the UK, lecturing on issues surround torture, anti-terror legislation and community relations. He has authored several pieces that have appeared in national and international newspapers, and a book detailing life as a Muslim living in the UK and his further experience in Guantanamo. "Enemy Combatant" is the first book to be published by a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner.