CAGE bank accounts closed, appeal to public for funds

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg

Advocacy organisation CAGE has said that it has had its bank accounts closed down and is now appealing to the public to help it survive.

CAGE released the following statement on its website:

“CAGE has been under sustained pressure over the last few months since its business bank accounts were closed down. Our work continues to go from strength to strength, but without your help we may not be able to keep our head above the water for very long.

For over a decade, CAGE has been at the forefront of exposing the role of the UK government in rendition and torture and has been a persistent and vocal critic of UK counter-terrorism laws and policies.

Following the arrest of our Outreach Director Moazzam Begg in February 2014, there now appears to be a concerted effort to shut down CAGE. The reason for the delay in announcing this to our supporters is that we wanted to first exhaust all means available to us to rectify the situation.

We are only too aware of the climate of fear that exists in our community and we are conscious to avoid reinforcing that, but we have come to a point now where we simply cannot continue as we are, we urgently need your help.

– Barclays and the Co-Operative Banks have shut down CAGE’s business accounts without notice or explanation, in addition to the personal accounts of specific CAGE staff.

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– The Charity Commission has launched an investigation into two of CAGE’s largest mainstream donors.

– Two of CAGE’s directors are being investigated by their professional regulatory bodies for the first time in their respective careers

CAGE has always carried out its activities within the remit of the law and our messages are reaching an increasing number of people both in the UK and abroad. It is only to be expected that CAGE too would become a target of those measures as a result.

Despite the setbacks, CAGE has continued its struggle for truth and justice. Since our accounts were closed, we have:

– Exposed MI5’s complicity in the detention and torture in Egypt of British resident Ahmed Diini

– Published an information leaflet on people’s rights during police home raids

– Provided unique insight into the issue of foreign fighters in Syria through comments in the written and broadcast media, including appearances on BBC Newsnight and Channel 4 News

Barclays is one of the banks to shut CAGE's account
Barclays is one of the banks to shut CAGE’s account

– Participated in the public consultation on the Schedule 7 officer’s Code of Practice

– Published an exclusive interview with Heba al-Dabbagh, the author of ‘Just five Minutes’, an account of her detention and torture in Syria during the 1980s

How you can help:

Those responsible for complicity in torture, violation of human rights and other crimes have specifically targeted CAGE’s financial lifeline in an attempt to strangle out work. Therefore, the best way to support us is to donate whatever you can, especially in this blessed month.

Since our accounts have been closed we require cash donations, we are willing to facilitate this through arranging to collect donations personally from supporters. We can accept your zakah too, for more information on this please see here.

CAGE has been targeted due to the nature and uniqueness of our mission: to document and highlight state crimes perpetrated in the War on Terror. We call on you to assist us by actively contributing to our mission: organise events; start social media campaigns; write articles; use creative expression through poetry, art, or through making YouTube videos; create posters and graphics; organise a fundraiser for CAGE; lobby decision makers; or engage the media – the list is endless.

Simply contact us with your ideas and we will help you bring them to life.

Our detractors have also carried out these actions to try and instil fear into our community. We mustn’t allow ourselves to be intimidated. Our cause is a just cause and there is nothing for us to fear. Support CAGE and support the cause of justice by maintaining dignity and demonstrating your solidarity by lending your voice to the call for fairness and accountability.

Perhaps it is Divine wisdom that the advocates of justice will be targeted by sanctions and treated like criminals as CAGE is currently experiencing. We ask you to make dua in this blessed month that Allah accepts our work, guides us through these turbulent times and enables us to emerge stronger and an even more potent force defending those that society has chosen to abandon.

Some of the future projects CAGE is working on to which those donations will go include:

– Publishing and distributing an academic report on the reality of ‘blowback’ from Syria

– Campaigning to end the criminalisation of those who stand in support of Syria

– Combating the government drive through its PREVENT strategy to create a network of spies among public service providers
– Continuing to document cases and highlight abuses of those detained at airports under Schedule 7 powers.”

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