Urge Your Senators to Support Closing Guantanamo

The 2014 defense authorization bill (S. 1197) includes 3 provisions that can help close Guantanamo. Together, they ensure that Guantanamo detainees are either safely and fairly tried in US federal court, or transferred to other countries.

The bill is coming up for a vote very soon. The vote will come 13 years after Guantanamo prisoner and British resident Shaker Aamer began his horrific journey of indefinite detention in Guantanamo. Shaker has spent 11 brutal years inside Guantanamo without charge or trial, even though Shaker was cleared for release by BOTH President George W. Bush and President Obama. This spring, Shaker and dozens of other detainees went on hunger strike to protest their unlawful indefinite detention. The hunger strike has taken its toll on Shaker’s body. Even worse, Shaker has endured absolute agony at the hands of US authorities in their twice-daily force-feeding sessions.

It’s time our representatives in Washington end the agony on an island sheltered from the public eye. Click here to tell your Senators to support closing Guantanamo without delay.

June 26 Actions on Guantanamo

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.

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USA: Authorities must end indefinite detention in Guantánamo as hunger strike grows

Amnesty International
22 April 2013

The US authorities must urgently end indefinite detention at Guantánamo Bay, Amnesty International said today after it was confirmed that more than half the detainees are now on hunger strike.

As of 21 April, 84 of the 166 detainees held at the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, were recognized by the military authorities as being on hunger strike.

Detainees began their protest in early February, in reaction to what they said were abusive cell searches and deteriorating conditions.

The military authorities have rejected the claims, but have acknowledged a sense of despair among detainees because they think the US administration has abandoned its efforts to close the detention facility.

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Call on President Obama to Keep His Promise and Shutter Guantanamo Bay Now

Amnesty International
Press Release
January 7, 2013

Broad Coalition Calls on President Obama to Keep His Promise
and Shutter Guantanamo Bay Now
Groups will mark 11th anniversary of first detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay
with rally, march and vigil starting at Supreme Court

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @spksingh

(Washington, D.C.) – A broad coalition of human rights groups and other like-minded organizations will mark the 11th anniversary of the first detainees being jailed at the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Friday, January 11, 2013, with a rally, march and vigil in Washington, DC. The participants will begin with a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, then march on Pennsylvania Avenue to the southeast corner of the Ellipse, for a vigil with the White House in the background.

There are solidarity events occurring in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami and London, England.

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Take action to close Guantanamo

Congress is trying to keep Guantanamo open. The House has already passed a legislation (National Defense Authorization Act of 2012) containing provisions that would further entrench indefinite detention and unfair military commissions in US law and practice — and keep Guantanamo open, indefinitely.

The Senate will be voting very soon, probably the second week of September. Pressure is needed now to oppose the bad provisions that would keep Guantanamo open.

Here are things you can do to help:

  1. Send e-mails to your Senators.
  2. Call your Senators. Click here to look them up and use the AIUSA phone script.
  3. Publicize the AIUSA blog post about Congress’ attempt to keep Guantanamo open.
  4. Organize a demonstration in front of your Senators’ local offices. If your Senators are allies, don’t protest them. Contact AIUSA if you aren’t sure.
  5. Meet with the staff of your Senators. Contact AIUSA for a briefing sheet.

Act now or Guantanamo will never end!