The following was a guest blog I wrote for the ACLU’s PrivacySOS site
In 2010, the director of Cageprisoners, former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg, hired me to work on a project he had been formulating for about a years’ time: How the UK’s anti-terrorism laws affect wider British society. I have been working with Moazzam as my boss for 18 months now.
Contrary to what the right wing American websites will attempt to tell you about the organization, Cageprisoners is in fact a London based non-governmental organization (NGO) and a human rights group. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the plight of political prisoners of the War on Terrorism in various prisons, including Bagram, and the infamous Guantanamo Bay, who have been stripped of both their habeas corpus and due process rights.
Cageprisoners frequently features in the UK media – and rarely is its coverage positive. Rather, it is habitually portrayed as a group of hard core Salafi Muslims who are soft on terrorism. Senior researcher Asim Qureshi has employed and closely works with other British former detainees at various capacities, Feroz Ali Abbasi, Tarek Dergoul, and Omar Deghayes, to name a few. The organization’s sympathy for current and released political prisoners and their families has frequently seen it characterized as a “front for Al-Qaeda” and its employees, “jihadists”.
I would like to take this opportunity, on the 10-year anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, to clarify a few things about some of the people who have come into my life since I began my job.