On the day that Gerry Conlon died, CAGE is republishing this interview conducted with him in 2010.
As one of the 'Guildford Four' Gerry Conlon was wrongfully imprisoned as an IRA bomber in 1974. It took 16 years before his conviction was quashed in 1989 and he was released. His case was one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in English legal history.Conlon's autobiography Proved Innocent was adapted into the Oscar and BAFTA Award-nominated 1993 film In The Name of the Father. Here he speaks to CAGE's patron Yvonne Ridley about why he's fighting for Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantanamo.
It is with sadness that we received the news of the death of Gerry Conlon, an Irish Catholic who had 15 years of his life stolen from him for the crime of belonging to a suspect community in a time of mass hysteria. Following his release from prison, Gerry Conlon continued to campaign against injustices committed by the State and miscarriages of justice. Among the prisoners whose release he supported was that of the last British detainee in Guantanamo Bay, Shaker Aamer.
Gerry Conlon suffered torture, imprisonment and numerous health problems following his release from prison. Yet it was still another 16 years before a British Prime Minister finally issued an apology over the manner in which he and his co defendants were treated by the State. While the world remembers him in his passing, we should also all reflect as to why the world even knows his name – because he was a victim of a War on Terror that involved the criminalisation of an entire community.
We hope that lessons will be learned and that it will not take three decades for a future British Prime Minister to apologise about another miscarriage of justice that may happen within the suspect community – the Muslim community – of the current War on Terror.
Conlan has compared his experience to that of Binyam Mohammed and others at Guantanamo Bay, you can read more here.
For more information on the miscarriage of justice Conlan suffered, please see here.
You can read more from Moazzam Begg here, on Conlan and the parallels drawn between his case and those facing criminalisation today.
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)