No More Secrets Tour: Bradford

Written by Yvonne Ridley Monday, 12 November 2012
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The No More Secrets nationwide tour kicked off in Bradford at the weekend attracting more than 200 people who attended a fundraising dinner and premiere of the CagePrisoners documentary Spies, Lies & Libya. Opened by the local Respect MP George Galloway, other speakers included CagePrisoners patron Yvonne Ridley and Libyan lawyer and former Guantanamo detainee Omar Deghayes. Deghayes highlighted the abuse and alienation faced by Libyan dissidents opposing the Gaddafi regime who were "locked up and silenced" by Tony Blair's government as it cut lucrative oil deals with the former tyrant. He also said how "ironic it is that some of those who were put on control orders in the UK are now helping to form the new Libyan government while others held is high security prisons without trial or charge actually provided protection as armed bodyguards for visiting diplomats and politicians including Hillary Clinton and David Cameron during their recent visits." 

Galloway praised the CagePrisoners' campaign and said without making the public aware of the government's plans to "overturn 1000 years of legal tradition" one of the most damning pieces of legislation was in danger of being "sneaked" through the British Parliament.

He added that following the 23 years of work by the Hillsborough families seeking justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster now was the time for more transparency not more secrets.


He concluded his speech by saying he was convinced the introduction of secret courts was designed to help protect both Jack Straw and Tony Blair who would almost certainly have signed off on the "rendition, torture and kidnap of Libyan rebel leader Abdul Hakim Belhaj and his family and others."


Ridley, who produced and presented the film Spies, Lies & Libya for CagePrisoners added: "This tour should focus everyone's attention because if we don't stop this Justice and Security Bill going through the UK Parliament we will see for the first time ever the introduction of secret courts. As a journalist and someone who knows the value of the truth, this is unacceptable. Justice must be seen to be done by the public, journalists, lawyers and anyone else who puts their faith in British justice.


"If this Bill is passed it will be a huge injustice and violation of human rights which have been protected and enshrined within the Magna Carta. Secret courts are the hallmarks of police states and dictatorships and have no place in democracies."


The reaction of those present, many from the legal community in Bradford, was reflected in the scores of postcards signed demanding the government scraps the Justice and Security Bill.


Ridley said: "By the time our tour has concluded CagePrisoners will be delivering a sackful of postcards to David Cameron in Downing Street so he can see for himself exactly how public opinion is mounting against this unpopular piece of legislation."

One of the first people to sign a postcard and endorse the CagePrisoners' campaign was former detective inspector Cedric Christie, an independent candidate for the forthcoming West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner elections. He said: "This is a very worthy campaign and there needs to be more public discussion on the issue of secret courts."


The next stage of the tour will be held in Glasgow on December 1, followed by London on Friday December 7 and Luton on Saturday, December 8. Tickets for the Luton event can already be purchased online here 


And a full schedule of the No More Secrets tour will soon be available on CagePrisoners website here 


If you would like to host a venue for the No More Secrets tour in your town, university or city please contact: nomoresecrets@cageprisoners.com



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