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Chain link to US camp; PROTEST: Marchers accuse city firm over shackles worn by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Byline: By Neil Elkes

A PARADE of 30 political prisoners in chains and orange boiler suits took to the streets of Birmingham to mark the fifth anniversary of detentions at Guantanamo Bay.

They were joined by scores of fellow human rights campaigners at the gates of Hiatt, a Perry Barr firm which manufactures handcuffs and shackles allegedly worn by prisoners held by the US military.

They delivered a fifth birthday cake to the Baltimore Road factory whose chains, they claim, have been worn by detainees held without trial, including ten British still held in the camp.

Groups taking part include Reprieve, Amnesty International and the Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign.

The rally took on a party atmosphere fuelled by folk band Seize the Day singing a range of protest anthems.

Birmingham consultant physician and activist Dr David Nicholl claimed: "Hiatt is a company which has always had dubious business practices, right back to the slave trade.

"We point out the role of companies directly profiting from the human rights abuses taking place in Guantanamo over the last five years and the failure of our political leaders to take any action."

Former detainee Moazzam Begg, from Sparkhill, said: "In Guantanamo Bay I pointed out to my lawyer how it was ironic that these shackles were made in England - just like me and him."

The company claims it sells to "reputable" armed forces and police forces, including America's, but has no responsibility for what happens thereafter.


BOUND ... a protester makes his point HUMILIATION... mock detainees outside the Hiatt factory in Birmingham. Pictures: Alan Williams Photosales No.: AW110107HIATT-9
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 12, 2007
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