Mercury Reporter Sarah Mirk covers: Guantanamo guard and prisoners on a speaking tour in the UK

[Edit: Sarah Mirk is a freelancer with the Mercury. In case the word "reporter" implies she's on staff.]

Mercury reporter Sarah Mirk is on the road covering a story and she just put her blog online: Guantanamo Voices

Guantanamo Voices is a blog tracking former Guantanamo Bay guard Chris Arendt and two former Guantanamo detainees, Moazzam Begg and Sami Al Haj as they travel around the UK together in the winter of 2009.

January 2009 is a brief, crucial time for Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama has promised to close the prison, but it is not known what will happen to the 270 men still detained there. Also unknown is how the Obama administration and the new Congress and Senate will approach the complicated legal issues that created and sustained Guantanamo. Will America still designate "enemy combatants" in 2009? What's missing from the national discussion about Guantanamo are the perspectives of veterans and detainees themselves. This blog is focused on getting those voices to be part of the mainstream conversation about the future of the prison.

Begg and Al Haj help run the nonprofit Cageprisoners in the UK and invited Arendt to join them on tour after seeing him speak at an Iraq Veterans Against War event. They first time the three men shook hands was at the beginning of the tour, on January 10th, 2009. The prisoners and guard may have met in Guantanamo, but they were not allowed to speak to one another.

She asked me to find links to relevant sites. Does anyone know of sites where this blog would be welcome?

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3 Responses to Mercury Reporter Sarah Mirk covers: Guantanamo guard and prisoners on a speaking tour in the UK

  1. Matt Davis January 19, 2009 at 10:22 #

    For clarification: Sarah Mirk is a freelancer with the Mercury. In case the word “reporter” implies she’s on staff.

  2. Austin January 21, 2009 at 14:30 #

    I briefly met Chris in October and heard him speak about this. He seemed really nervous to be touring with former prisoners. I can imagine it would be awkward.
    I wish him the best on the tour, and hope I get a chance at hearing some of his stories here in Portland.

  3. Daymon Balser January 21, 2009 at 23:49 #

    All of our best to Chris and we can’t wait to hear his stories!

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