Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Sheehan to Visit Guantánamo

This week, activist Cindy Sheehan travels to Cuba to protest the Bush Administration’s detention policies in the “war on terror.” On Wednesday ‘Peace Mom’ Sheehan and other human rights activists will speak at a conference in the Cuban city of Guantánamo and participate in a demonstration at the gates of the U.S. base.

Sheehan makes her case in a letter from Havana:

We travel to Guantanamo tomorrow to begin our march for peace and humanity and to demand that the U.S. give each and every inmate his due process, treat them humanely, whether it is to release them or have them properly incarcerated if found guilty (by a criminal court, not a kangaroo court) and then close down the gulag of Guantanamo.

Our country should be above such inhumanity. Most people would be sick at heart if we discovered that dogs were being treated so horribly - these are human beings, not animals.

Every American who realizes that violence only spreads violence and torture only spawns hatred should stand up on January 11th in solidarity with our contingent in Cuba to call for an immediate closure of Guantanamo and for the restoration of habeas corpus that was stolen from us by the 109th Congress...

CCR: Close Guantánamo

As the 5th anniversary of the Guantánamo Bay prison camps approaches, the Center for Constitutional Rights has a new statement on the U.S. detention facility:

Nearly four hundred men continue to languish at Guantánamo. After five years of imprisonment outside the law, humiliation, physical & mental abuse and torture, and separation from their families, the notion that Guantánamo can ever be a normal prison for them must be abandoned.

CCR distinguishes itself from other NGOs in that it believes Guantánamo is beyond reform. Improvements in prisoner conditions and reforms in “interrogation techniques” are impossible to enforce and do not address the fundamental injustice of imprisoning human beings for years without charge. As CCR reasons,

If there are people in Guantánamo who have committed a crime, our government can subject them a court martial or civilian criminal trial. Any convicted defendants can serve out their time in existing military or civilian prisons. We don't need Guantánamo, and it has jeopardized our national security far more than it has furthered our security or intelligence...