Jeremy Corbyn says Guantanamo Bay is a 'generator of terrorism' amid UK suicide bomber row

Posted On: 
22nd February 2017

Guantanamo Bay is a "generator of terrorism" and ineffective at protecting Britain from attacks, according to Jeremy Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister's Questions today.
Credit: 
PA Images

A spokesman for the Labour leader made the comments amid a growing row over the release of UK-born terror suspect who went on to become a suicide bomber. 

Jamal al-Harith was released from the US-run detention camp in 2004 and received £1m in compensation six years later.

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Mr Corbyn's spokesman refused to be drawn on whether the payout was justified – but said the case proved that Guantanamo Bay does not work.

"Imprisonment without trial and torture are completely contrary to basic democratic values and human rights, and they've also been a significant recruiter for terrorism over the past 15 or more years," he said.

"I think that's one of the clear lessons of Guantanamo Bay and other illegal detention camps and torture camps which have been set up in the war on terror. Not only are they wrong, but they're also clearly ineffective.

"Over the past 16 years, the abuse of human rights, the kidnapping of suspects, the illegal detention of people without trial or charge and the use of torture in the war on terror have been a recruiter for terror."

On whether the compensation payout was justified, the spokesman said: "I can only say the broad principle of what's taken place over the last 16 years; the basic principles that any British government must support, which is basic democratic values and human rights.

"Those were clearly violated on a substantial scale, not only in Guantanamo, but in other detention camps and torture camps used in the war on terror. They are not only an abuse of rights and democratic values, but they are also completely ineffective and a generator and recruiter for terrorism.

"Any case of illegal detention or torture has to be treated on its basic merits and questions about the risk of any prisoner depends on the intelligence and evidence available."

A spokesman for the Prime Minister – who was Home Secretary when al-Harith's compensation was approved – said he would not comment on "an intelligence issue".