Hiatt the Great Barr firm, which is said to have made shackles for Guantanamo Bay, is to relocate to the US. The firm was established over 200 years ago when its products were available for the slave trade.
The company joins a long list of firms which trade in human misery, receiving considerable profits for their shareholders. Firms in the US like Blackwater and Haliburton have massive contracts supposedly for security operations in theatres of war. The people of Iraq are incensed that non-military personnel have been found responsible for killings and torture – people not covered by any rules of engagement applying to military personnel. Not that anyone from these firms who is kidnapped can expect much support from their employers. Five people taken five years ago have been virtually forgotten about.
The Birmingham Post reports (19/6/2008): “Former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg said he was delighted to see the company leave Birmingham, adding he had been ashamed that a company based just a few miles from where he lived had helped to keep him locked up.
Mr Begg spent nearly three years in Guantanamo Bay as a suspected terrorist. He was released in January 2005 without charge.
He said: ‘It’s bizarre, because the first time I met my lawyer I said to him that both myself and the shackles I was in were made in Birmingham.
‘There was no sense that they were taking responsibility for what they were making.
‘The fact they are closing is great news, and it’s appropriate that they’re going to America, where they’ll be closer to where they are used.’ “