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Feb 21st
Julie Maas PDF Print E-mail
Julie created the illustration that we used for the Shut Down Guantanamo article in the Spring 2010 issue of Presente.

Shut Down Guantanamo by Julie Maas

Shut Down Guantanamo

article by Judth Kelly, February 2010

President Obama signed an Executive Order on Jan. 22, 2009, to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year. He said, “This is me following through…on an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct not just when it’s easy but also when it’s hard.”  

Since 2005, Witness Against Torture (www.witnesstorture.org) has organized campaigns and direct actions focused on ending indefinite detentions at Guantanamo.  In orange jumpsuits and black hoods, WAT activists (including several SOA Watch former prisoners of conscience) have vigiled and demonstrated at the White House, the Supreme Court and Congressional office buildings.  

Congress has not supported Obama’s efforts to close Guantanamo, and it may remain open.  After eight years of incarceration without charges or legal process, nearly 200 Muslim men—103 of them cleared for release—still languish in Guantanamo.  Many are on hunger strike and endure force feedings.

A March 2010 Harper’s Magazine article by Scott Horton reveals that three detainees, whose deaths were officially classified as suicides in 2006, may actually have been tortured to death.  President Obama could launch an investigation of this incident and fully recommit to ending indefinite detentions and torture in any form.

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