WP condemn revoking of activists' visa

Peace Activist denied entry to speak at US peace seminar

Edward Horgan
Ed Horgan

Mr Gerry Grainger, International Secretary of the Workers Party of Ireland explained: "Edward Horgan, a well-known Irish activist and former Irish Defence Forces officer, has had his 10-year, multiple-entry U.S. visa revoked without explanation. Horgan and others believe it is because of his principled stand against the U.S. use of renditions, and in particular, the use of Shannon Airport as a stopover for U.S. rendition flights. ShannonWatch has documented the use of the airport as a stopover for CIA rendition flights".
"Horgan is no bomb-making terrorist, nor a fellow traveller of terrorism. As an officer in the Irish Army he was in the forefront of the fight against terrorism in this country.  He has been a UN peace keeper, and monitored elections in countries as diverse as Ghana, Armenia, Zimbabwe, East Timor and Ukraine. He has worked with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union. He is getting his Ph.D. in international relations at the University of Limerick. He is also now, amazingly,  persona non grata in Barack Obama’s supposedly more open and transparent United States".
"The Workers' Party commends Ed Horgan and the Shannonwatch Organisation for the service to humanity which they have performed. In particular they have been to the forefront in exposing the horror of "Extraordinary Rendition" and the terrible suffering endured by thousands of innocent victims of this barbaric procedure. The work of Shannonwatch and Ed Horgan has been vindicated by Working Document No. 8, from the European Union (EU). The Working Document reports over 1,000 rendition flights between the end of 2001 and the end of 2005. With destinations in Jordan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Guantanamo and elsewhere, these flights had stopovers in all 25 EU countries, as well as Romania, Iceland, Switzerland, Albania, Turkey, and elsewhere".
"The Workers' Party wants to make it clear" concluded Mr Grainger "that rather than being kept out of the United States, Ed Horgan should be given a medal for his outstanding courage and forthrightness in not abandoning the battle for accountability for one of the most incredible human rights crimes perpetrated by so-called democratic state in our lifetime. The Obama administration should be ashamed of its behaviour in keeping Mr. Horgan from entering this country. And Americans should be ashamed for letting this happen, as the struggle for accountability for torture is shunted aside for political expediency, or staggers under the blows of right-wing propaganda and media indifference". 
"Lastly we find it incredible that this insult to the Irish Nation should be delivered in the same week as the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Mr Brian Cowen TD, is visiting the United States of American and actually meeting President Obama. It is merely another indicator of the disregard which the security chiefs in the US have for the rest of the world".
Issued 19th March 2010

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics