Friday, December 29, 2006
On January 11th, 2002, twenty hooded and shackled men shuffled off a plane from Afghanistan, arriving at the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
In an attempt to sidestep the Geneva Convention protections for prisoners of war, the Bush administration created a new category of “enemy combatant” for these men captured in the
“war on terror.”
Since that time, more than one thousand men and boys have been imprisoned at Guantánamo. Accounts of cruel, inhuman, and degrading
treatment have been condemned by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and other reputable bodies. The prisoners have resorted to hunger strikes as a way of protesting their treatment, and many have attempted suicide; three men killed themselves on June 10, 2006. Fear and desperation mark their confinement.
Five years later, not a single prisoner has been charged, tried or convicted of any crime. January 11th, 2007 marks five years of unjust
imprisonment, isolation, beatings, interrogation and abuse. We say: no more. We must say: no longer.
Click here to join the International Day of Action to End Torture and Shut Down Guantanamo on the fifth anniversary of that prison’s ignominious entry into the war on terror, January 11, 2007.
Many prisoners have been released because no evidence has been found against them, yet more than 430 people continue to languish in indefinite detention without hope of release, fair trial, or even a hearing on the charges against them. The outgoing Republican-led Congress
passed laws to condone or cover up many of these grossly illegal and immoral actions. The United States government has abandoned law and justice.
For our nation of laws, for our democracy, for our humanity and theirs, we demand small but essential steps to help return our nation to the best of our own traditions.
In addition to a major action in Washington, D.C., where names of detainees will be delivered to a federal court, local actions and vigils will be taking place across the country and the world, from Amsterdam to Boise, Idaho. To find out how you can take part and join the International Day of Action to End Torture and Shut Down Guantanamo on January 11, 2007, click here.
This International Day of Action is being organized by Witness Against Torture, and co-sponsored by Peace Action Education Fund and many other peace and justice organizations. Specifically, the January 11 actions will call on the United States government to:
• Repeal the Military Commissions Act and restore Habeas Corpus.
• Charge and try or release all detainees.
• Withhold funds for the proposed $125 million construction of new military courts at Guantánamo.
• Clearly and unequivocally forbid torture and all other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, by the military, the CIA, prison guards, civilian contractors, or anyone else.
• Pay reparations to current and former detainees and their families for violations of their human rights.
• Shut down Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and all other U.S. prisons overseas, including secret CIA detention facilities.
We will be marking January 11, 2007 as a day of national shame. But we can also mark it as a day of citizen action. How? By acting on behalf of our fellow human beings in Guantánamo, their bereaved families and all victims of the “war on terrorism.”
We declare January 11, 2007 an International Day of Action to End Torture and Shut Down Guantánamo. Click here to find out more about the action in Washington, D.C. that day or to find out about vigils or actions at courthouses, federal buildings and public squares in your own communities – or to plan one of your own. (Also, be ready to spread the word for a national call-in day on January 11 as well.)The stakes are too high to be silent any longer. Thank you for joining us to defend the law and our common humanity on January 11, 2007 during the International Day of Action to End Torture and Shut Down Guantanamo.