Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
23 October 2009updated 27 Sep 2015 4:07am

Chimes of freedom

Musicians put pressure on Obama

By John Sunyer

Rock musicians including Billy Bragg and REM have supported a campaign demanding the closure of Guantanamo Bay and calling on the White House to release information about which songs were played at high volume during interrogation of prisoners at the detention centre. (Rosanne Cash, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Steve Earle, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt are also among the artists involved.)

Many of the musicians are angry that their work may have been used as a tool of interrogation and to inflict punishment on detainees. A Freedom of Information request has been placed by the US campaign group No More Guantanamos, and is backed by the British human rights organisation Reprieve, which has been campaigning against “music torture” for more than a year.

This latest news will undoubtedly put more pressure on President Obama to stick to his pledge to close Guantanamo Bay by 22 January 2010.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them