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Posts tagged ‘rule of law’

Indefinite Detention?

Dear Gabriel,

The latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is nothing short of a disaster for human rights. Unfortunately, despite an outcry from activists like you, Congress has already more or less guaranteed that this bill — with its disturbing detention provisions — will soon reach President Obama’s desk.

We can’t take the risk that this legislation will ever become law.

Tell President Obama that he must follow through with his threat to veto the NDAA.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the rule of law and human rights in the United States as we know them are at stake. On its face, this bill is scary enough — it would keep Guantanamo open indefinitely, hinder federal trials of terrorism suspects, and would further entrench detention without charge in U.S. law.

Those provisions alone are a deep affront to human rights. But the broader implications are just as terrifying.

If the U.S. government has the foggiest belief that you might be associated with Al Qaeda or its allies, even a U.S. citizen within U.S. borders could be targeted. How would we know if that “belief” is justified, you may ask? Well, we don’t — there is no innocent until proven guilty on the battlefield. And this bill would bring the battlefield to U.S. soil.

Sweeping new powers for the U.S. president and military — based on “beliefs” alone — at the expense of individual liberty. This is not the America we believe in.

President Obama already has threatened to veto the NDAA if these odious provisions come across his desk. But he’s also promised to close Guantanamo, and we all know that hasn’t happened — we’re not even close. We must keep the pressure on.

Urge President Obama to keep his pledge to veto the NDAA — and to honor his promise to close Guantanamo and uphold human rights.


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

P.S. Guantanamo has been open 10 years too many! Join us January 11, 2012 in Washington, DC for a day of action to close Guantanamo — sign up now.

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

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