by Zeke Johnson, AIUSA Security & Human Rights Program Director
June 26 is International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Amnesty activists have marked this solemn and important day for years, demanding that governments around the world end–and ensure accountability for–torture and other ill-treatment.
This year, I invite you to join me in taking action to close Guantanamo. We are at a pivotal moment in the campaign and need more pressure than ever for real change – especially on each and every Senator, as they will soon debate and vote on Guantanamo transfer provisions in the next National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We also have to keep the pressure on President Obama to transfer cleared detainees, NOW.
Here are 5 effective actions you can take to mark June 26th:
1) Call your Senators via the Senate Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and say “I live in your state and I want you to support closing Guantanamo.” You can also email them and schedule lobby meetings with their in-state offices.
2) Call the White House comment line at 202.456.1111 and say “I support closing Guantanamo. Transfer cleared detainees now.” Busy signal? Call again!
3) Send solidarity cards to Shaker Aamer and other Guantanamo detainees. Even if you have already sent cards, please send more to help us flood the detention facility, so that officials know we are watching. Organize a write-a-thon on June 26 with your friends. This blog post explains why it’s important and how to do it.
4) In Washington DC on June 25th, join UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez, Amnesty’s own Adotei Akwei, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition for a very special event, Healing a Culture of Torture.
5) Get on Twitter and Tweet @BarackObama & your Senators: Close Guantanamo! amnestyusa.org/closeit.