For Immediate Release
November 19, 2013
Amnesty International Welcomes Senate Result on NDAA Guantanamo Amendments
In response to the Senate vote on the Guantanamo transfer provisions as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014 (S. 1197), Zeke Johnson, Director of Amnesty International USA’s Security & Human Rights Program and an observer of the military commissions at Guantanamo issued the following statement:
“Finally, the Senate did the right thing on Guantanamo. The new detainee transfer provisions will help ensure that each detainee is either given a safe and fair trial in US federal court or is transferred to another country if cleared to leave.
Section 1031 of the Senate bill would facilitate the transfer to other countries of cleared detainees; Section 1032 would allow transfers to the mainland US for medical treatment; and Section 1033 would allow transfers to the mainland US for trial. These provisions must be preserved through the reconciliation process with the House provisions.
Furthermore, President Obama need not wait for final passage to move forward with transfers under current law. People like Shaker Aamer, cleared to leave with a safe place to go that wants him–the UK–should be transferred out immediately.”
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.
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.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.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.