Lewes Amnesty Group is delighted to invite all local Amnesty group members to attend a talk by former Guantanamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi to mark the 19th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and to remember the forty men who remain in Guantanamo today (either detained without charge or trial or who have been subjected to unfair trials).
Chaired by AIUK Board member Hugh Sandeman, the event will also highlight Amnesty’s new report on Guantanamo being issued on 11th January and examples of campaigning work previously undertaken by Lewes Amnesty Group. We call on all local Amnesty groups to join us in taking action over the coming year to demand that Guantanamo be closed and for justice for the 40 men who still detained in Guantanamo today.
This talk will take place on Zoom on the 11th of January, 2021 at 7pm GMT.
Update on forthcoming anniversary of Guantánamo from North America Country Coordinator Lise Rossi:
With a change in administration in the USA, we have a unique chance to push for the closure of the detention facility once and for all. We need a renewed global push to show President-Elect Joe Biden that he must prioritize closing Guantánamo immediately when he assumes office.
Amnesty International will publish a new report about the detention facility on 11 January 2021. Please find below the activities for the 11 January launch and corresponding campaign.
The report will be distributed no later than 4 January 2021. The top 3 takeaways from the report are:
- Guantanamo is still open, and houses 40 detainees who have been there for up to 17 years without trial.
- There has been no accountability for the significant violations of human rights law perpetrated by the US, including torture, enforced disappearance, and unfair trials.
- The Biden administration must close Guantanamo.
UPDATES ON AMNESTY CASE CAMPAIGNS
Here’s what has happened since the eighteenth anniversary on 11 January 2020:
Trump has neither released anyone nor transferred any new detainees to Guantánamo. Forty men remain there, many have been subjected to torture or other ill-treatment by the US or its allies. They are all Muslim. In December 2020, one detainee was cleared for transfer, bringing the total number cleared for transfer to six. Yet the government has made no effort to transfer them.
The military commissions that were established to bring those detained at the base to trial have barely moved forward: they are inherently unfair, and deny detainees fair-trial rights.
In August 2020 the Court of Appeals ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment – “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” – does not apply at Guantánamo. Many of those detained have complex medical needs as a result of their treatment, and these are only worsening with time. Toffiq Al BihaniThere has not been any movement on the case of Toffiq al-Bihani all year. Amnesty International is in touch with his lawyers and will update when we have any news.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi
Amnesty International supporters worldwide mobilized to secure Mohamedou’s release from Guantanamo in 2016. After his release, he experienced restrictions on his freedom of movement, and Amnesty activists helped him secure his passport from the Mauritanian government. He is still experiencing restrictions, with several countries refusing to grant him visas to visit, allegedly at the behest of the US government, which continues to demonize him.
A Hollywood production about Guantanamo and Mohamedou is slated for release on 19 February 2021, and Amnesty International is endorsing the movie and partnering with the production team for a joint launch. We are finalizing the launch plans and there will be a subsequent action circular specifically about the movie. You can watch the trailer for The Mauritanian here.
TACTICS AND ACTIVITIES FOR 11 JANUARY 2021 ANNIVERSARY
Share the report as much as possible. If you can, use your local press.
Raise visibility of the 19th anniversary on social media channels the week of 11 January 2021.
Please promote the new petition targeting President-Elect Joe Biden and send me all the petitions you have gathered by the end of February 2021. My address is: Lise Rossi, 79 Whistler Street, London E5 1NJ. I will forward them to Amnesty USA who will deliver them to the Biden Administration a couple of months after he is sworn in on 20 January 2021.
Here is the text of the petition:
Subject: Close Guantánamo
Dear President Joe Biden,
The US government’s use of indefinite detention without charge as a response to 9/11 has been unlawful from the outset. This detention regime must be brought to an end, and any proposal for its continuation or expansion rejected. The detention facility at Guantánamo must be shut down immediately.
The impunity that persists in relation to the torture and other-ill treatment, enforced disappearance and other human rights violations committed against these detainees is outrageous. Torture and enforced disappearance are crimes under international law.
I urge you to work toward a lawful solution for the detainees still held at Guantánamo by either transferring them for release, or bringing individuals to trial in civilian federal courts if this can be achieved in accordance with international law and standards and without recourse to the death-penalty. Those detainees already cleared for transfer should be transferred immediately to countries that will respect their human rights. Those who were subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment must receive genuine access to rehabilitation and redress. The individuals responsible for torture and enforced disappearance must be brought to justice in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty.
The ongoing operations in the Guantánamo Bay detention facility are a human rights abomination.
I urge you to close the prison immediately.