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Posts tagged ‘indefinite detention’

Keep Your Word Mr. President

Dear Gabriel,

“Don’t blow it.” That’s what I want to say to President Obama.

This is the moment that will define the future of the United States’ commitment on human rights. President Obama’s second term will determine whether the post 9/11 stains on the United States’ human rights record are an anomaly or the “new normal.”

President Obama promised to support and advance human rights. Let’s hold him to it.

When he was first elected in 2008, President Obama promised a new dawn of American leadership. As a new president, he acknowledged that the protection of human rights cannot rest on exhortation alone.

He offered the promise of an administration that would respect human rights — closing the Guantánamo prison, bringing detention practices in line with international law, repudiating secrecy and ensuring that human rights weren’t traded away in the name of national security.

It really isn’t a choice for the President to make. Under international law, the U.S. government is obligated to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, and ensure accountability for violations of those rights.

Tell President Obama to live up to his promises and uphold human rights.

The prison at Guantánamo, indefinite detention, unfair trials, unlawful killings with drones and other human rights violations committed by the U.S government undermine the rule of law in the U.S. and around the world. These abuses also create a climate in which other countries can point to a double-standard to justify their own human rights abuses with the refrain, ‘if the U.S. government does that, why shouldn’t we?’

By taking bold steps to restore respect for human rights President Obama can help ensure justice, security and accountability here in the U.S. and around the world. That’s why he must take three bold actions immediately:

Close the prison at Guantánamo
Stop unlawful killing with drones
Ensure the UN adopts a strong Arms Trade Treaty

President Obama has been given a second chance to keep his promises on human rights. Please stand with us today and call on the president to live up to those promises.

Thank you for everything you do to protect and advance human rights.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Nossel
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Vote Today On Indefinite Detention

Gabriel,

UPDATE: They’re debating the NDAA even as I type. Our contacts in Congress tell us the tides are turning: It’s still an uphill battle, but we have a chance of beating indefinite detention.

Please call Congress right away and ask your member to end indefinite detention.

ORIGINAL: The timing couldn’t be any better: As Congress gets ready to vote on indefinite detention today, a judge just ruled that these provisions of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act are unconstitutional!

Congratulations to Chris Hedges and Revolution Truth — who spearheaded the lawsuit — and to the 50,000 Demand Progress members who signed on as grassroots supporters of the effort.

It’s a huge victory, but we need to keep pushing Congress to do the right thing too: The government is likely to appeal the court’s ruling, so we have to make sure we beat back indefinite detention during today’s vote.

Please click here to call your member of Congress right away — it’ll just take a minute and we’ll give you a call script you can use.

The vote is expected this afternoon, so we need calls to start pouring in first thing this morning.

Thanks!

Demand Progress

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.

Sincerely,

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

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