Free Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz, a Mauritanian teacher in Guantánamo
Dear friends and supporters,
We're delighted to present to you this week an article entitled, "Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz: A Profile of the Mauritanian Teacher Still Awaiting Release from Guantánamo
," as told by his legal team in Denver, Colorado.
Due to a misunderstanding by a human rights representative in Mauritania, it was mistakenly thought last weekend that Ahmed had been released. Sadly, however, he is still held, even though he is one of the 86 prisoners cleared for release
by President Obama's inter-agency task force in January 2010.
For President Obama to fulfill the promise
he made two weeks ago -- to resume releasing prisoners from Guantánamo -- he needs to either confront Congress to persuade lawmakers to drop their obstacles to the release of prisoners, or use the waiver
in the existing legislation to bypass Congress, declaring that it is "in the national security interests of the United States" to do so.
It certainly is "in the national security interests of the United States" to release the 86 cleared prisoners -- including Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz -- and to begin releasing these men immediately. We heard this week that lawmakers are once more pledging to raise obstacles to the release of prisoners, but they need to know that it is more damaging to the U.S. to continue holding men cleared for release than it is to release them, as it shows the world that America is cruel, fearful and hypocritical.
This week, the Wall Street Journal
reported that some of the retired admirals and generals who signed our mission statement
when we launched the "Close Guantánamo" campaign a year and a half ago met with Avril Haines, the legal adviser to the National Security Council, and other members of the White House staff, to discuss the administration’s plans to shut the prison.
Retired Rear Adm. John Hutson said he had left officials in no doubt about the importance of action. “I said every day Guantánamo is open is another day of stain on America's reputation and undermines our security," he explained.
Adm. Hutson also noted "a real sense of urgency" at the White House following President Obama's speech. This is good to hear, but it urgently needs to be transformed into action. Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz has a son he has never seen. Why not put him on a plane home tomorrow?
Over to you, President Obama …
With thanks, as ever, for your support,
The "Close Guantánamo" team
P.S. Please, if you will, ask your friends and family 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.