No escape from Guantánamo
Dear friends and supporters,
Despite progress towards the closure of Guantánamo last year, when the prisoners forced President Obama to promise action by embarking on a prison-wide hunger strike that drew international criticism of his failure to close the prison as he promised, there is little reason right now to think that meaningful progress is still being made.
Twelve prisoners have been released since President Obama promised to resume releasing prisoners in a major speech on national security issues last May, but 76 others, cleared for release in January 2010 by a task force the president established shortly after taking office in 2009, are still held.
Free the Yemenis
56 of these men are Yemenis, and their release is blocked because of fears about the security situation in Yemen that no one in the administration, up to and including President Obama, is prepared to overcome in the name of justice and fairness. In January, we reported
how another Yemeni had been added to this list, after being cleared for release by a new review process, the Periodic Review Boards, and in our latest article, "The Impossibility of Being Released from Guantánamo
," Andy Worthington explains how this absurd situation has just been repeated in the case of another Yemeni.
To bring this situation to an end, please call the White House on 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 or submit a comment online
, and tell President Obama that he must release all the cleared Yemeni prisoners as soon as possible.
Free Shaker Aamer
In another recent development, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, is seeking his release through a lawsuit submitted to the District Court in Washington D.C., on the basis that he has been severely damaged, both mentally and physically, by his 12 years in U.S. custody. This was reported by Andy in his article, "Gravely Ill, Shaker Aamer Asks U.S. Judge to Order His Release from Guantánamo
Shaker's case is based on an analysis undertaken by Dr. Emily A. Keram, an independent psychiatrist who was allowed to visit him at Guantánamo for five days in December, and excerpts from Dr. Keram's report -- primarily dealing with his torture in U.S. custody in Afghanistan, prior to his transfer to Guantánamo in February 2002 -- are available on Andy's website here
We hope you find these articles interesting, and will share them and endorse them on social media if you do. We need as much support as possible in the near future to persuade President Obama that Shaker Aamer and the cleared Yemenis must all be released without further delay. We can be found on Twitter here
and on Facebook here
With thanks, as ever, for your support
The "Close Guantánamo" team
P.S. Please, if you will, also 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.