The Guantánamo hunger strike continues
Dear friends and supporters,
With the hunger strike still raging at Guantánamo, and, today, the authorities acknowledging that 100 of the remaining 166 men are taking part (edging ever closer to the figure of 130 cited by the prisoners themselves), it is imperative that we continue to educate, inform and agitate for the closure of the prison.
In the last week, we have published two articles chronicling the hunger strike and urging you to take action. In the first, "Guantánamo Authorities Respond to Hunger Strike with Violence; Red Cross Complains
," Andy Worthington provided an update on the situation at the prison, where, sadly, the authorities have chosen violence to control the men who, in despair, are risking their lives to get their voices heard.
Andy also reported on criticism by Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who are normally sworn to public secrecy, but who, at various times in Guantánamo's long and horrible history, have spoken out openly.
In our latest article, "Former U.S. Military Judges Call for the Closure of Guantánamo
," we presented an op-ed by John Hutson and Donald J. Guter, former Judge Advocates General of the U.S. Navy, calling on President Obama to urgently revisit his promise to close Guantánamo.
The renewal of interest in Guantánamo is reassuring, but the response from the Obama administration has been almost non-existent. We know that discussions are taking place behind the scenes, and we are proud of our contributions to those discussions, as we have always sought engagement with the administration to help secure the closure of the prison, and the release of those men who are not to be charged.
However, we believe it is important for the administration to hear from as many voices as possible. So please get involved by writing to President Obama and to Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense.
Contact President Obama
Contact the White House and tell President Obama, "Please release the 86 prisoners cleared for release by your inter-agency task force, and initiative objective reviews for the 46 others that you designated for indefinite detention without charge or trial in an executive order two years ago." Call 202-456-1111 or submit a comment online
. Please also tell President Obama, "Please appoint a White House official to direct the closure of Guantánamo, and direct the Secretary of Defense to use his authority under the law to release men who will not be charged. Please also lift your own blanket ban on sending home the cleared Yemeni prisoners.”
Contact Chuck Hagel
Contact Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and tell him, "Please use your authority under the law to resume transferring the 86 men cleared for release by President Obama's inter-agency task force. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2013) gives you the authority to certify men or issue waivers so they can be released from Guantánamo, and you must use this authority without further delay." Call Secretary Hagel at the Department of Defense on 703-571-3343 or submit a comment online
As ever, thanks for your support. If you can, please forward this to friends and family to ask them to join us
-- just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email.