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Posts tagged ‘Guantanamo’

Close Gitmo Stop Torture

Dear Gabriel,

I wish I had better news to give you about the human rights failure that is Guantanamo. But the bad news is coming at us from all sides:

– President Obama has failed to keep his promise to close Guantanamo.

Some presidential candidates think Guantanamo should be kept open indefinitely.

– Senators are poised to approve a new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes provisions that would actually expand indefinite detention at Guantanamo.

– And perhaps worst of all, torture is still proudly advocated by members of Congress like Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — and by some of the current candidates for the U.S. Presidency.

Sometimes it feels like we’re living in the Twilight Zone, with politicians trying to outdo themselves in insanity rather than actually solving the very real and pressing challenges facing the country.

But we can’t give in to the madness. We believe that human rights and the rule of law should be respected by the U.S. government. We just need to find a way to make a big statement to politicians, showing that people all throughout the U.S. and around the world are out there demanding an end to Guantanamo and torture.

That is why we are asking you to join us on January 11, 2012 in Washington, DC, where Amnesty activists will form a human chain in protest against injustices at Guantanamo.

Why January 11? January 11, 2012 will mark the 10th anniversary of “war on terror” detainees at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Let’s join together — literally — to make this year’s disgraceful anniversary the last.

To create a human chain that will reach from the White House to the Capitol building, we’ve calculated that we need at least 2,771 activists — the approximate number of people currently being detained at Guantanamo and Bagram Prison in Afghanistan. While the human chain action will be focused on Washington, DC, other activists will stand in solidarity with us at Jan. 11 events all around the world.

Guantanamo remains the global symbol of human rights violations and lawlessness by the U.S. It represents torture, indefinite detention, unfair trials, rendition, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, secret detention — the entire system of abuses and disregard for human rights and the rule of law put in place under former President Bush’s administration. A system that continues today.

This January 11, join us in rejecting this system by lending a hand to our human chain in Washington, DC. Human rights violations in Guantanamo have gone on ten years too long.


Zeke Johnson
Director, Security with Human Rights Campaign
Amnesty International USA

The President’s Promise

Dear Gabriel,

A Guantanamo that’s open forever? It really could happen.

Congress is debating legislation right now — the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — that would keep the shameful detention facility at Guantanamo Bay open indefinitely.

If the bill passes the Senate, only a veto from President Obama can stop the provisions on indefinite detention and military tribunals at Guantanamo from taking effect.

But the buck stops with you — will you let President Obama know that you remember his promise to close Guantanamo, and that you expect him to block these unjust provisions from ever becoming law?

This is not a lost cause. Voices like yours have already attracted attention on Capitol Hill — your calls and emails helped push Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to speak out against the indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA bill.

Having Senator Reid on our side is a huge win for us. If we had remained silent, this bill might have ended up clearing the Senate with little opposition — the scary indefinite detention provisions originally had bipartisan support!

But with election season upon us, politics are far from predictable. Senator Reid’s support may not be enough to stop these provisions. We need to take a principled stand against indefinite detention and military trials — and we need the White House to be a part of it.

Politics should never get in the way of human rights. It’s long past time for President Obama to fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo. Vetoing this bill is a start. The president needs to know that’s exactly what you expect him to do.


Zeke Johnson
Director, Security with Human Rights Campaign
Amnesty International USA

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