Global Protests Say Shut Down Guantanamo - End Indefinite Detention
We will continue to follow these developments and get deeper into the questions raised by what a blog on The New York Times called a possible "trick play" to close the prison.
Hundreds globally participated in the May 23 Global Day of Action to Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention. Thanks to Witness Against Torture for coming up with the plan to mark this day, and to Center for Constitutional Rights and many other organizations for joining in.
As we said last week, the prisoners are very interested that we are taking this action, and we know they will see photos and get verbal reports from their attorneys. Here are some snapshots:
A dozen students at York College in Queens, NY came to protest at Times Square with more than 100 others after seeing a film about Guantanamo in their international studies class. They, like a majority of students approached on another city campus, either did not know that the U.S. set up a prison in 2002 where more than 700 men have been held without charge and tortured, or thought it had been closed by Obama. These students, most not born in the U.S., said it meant a lot to them to hear, at the protest, the words of the prisoners, and different kinds of people saying torture and mass incarceration are wrong.
“We were a small group but we had a big impact,” reported protesters from World Can't Wait who talked to groups of soldiers on Waikiki Beach, finding disgust and confusion about previous and possible wars. In Chicago, 50 people made up the largest Guantanamo-related protest in years, and found that more people were stopping, photographing, and taking fliers.
Obama responded to the prisoners' collective hunger strike a year ago by saying that he would take steps to close the prison, but has released just twelve prisoners in that time. All of the 57 Yemeni prisoners, cleared to leave years ago, are still held. Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a prisoner who sued the government to stop the painful torture of force-feeding him during his long-term hunger strike won a temporary respite, but on May 23, a federal judge on the case allowed the military to resume forcing a feeding tube into his stomach. Dhiab, who has been “cleared” for release since 2009, is one of six prisoners the President of Uruguay has offered to give residency immediately, but the U.S. Government has taken no action.
All of this makes the demand to close Guantanamo now more urgent!
View photos, video from around the world.