Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 22

That marks the date eight years ago when Obama signed the executive order to close Guantanamo.

The International Justice Network is asking for organizations to sign on to a joint statement before the United Nations Human Rights Council on Torture. The full request with links to the joint statement is included below. I ask that you ask any and all organizations that you work with or are familiar with to sign on to this joint statement. The Joint Statemetn will be presented to the Council on January 22nd:

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing you because last year we had your support in a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council on torture and forced disappearances committed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its so-called fight against terrorism. On occasion were more than 100 organizations around the world by sending a strong message against impunity.

Today we ask for your support again.

This month, back in 2002, the United States government decided to open a detention center at Guantánamo Bay to hold suspects of terrorism. This overseas center designed to exist beyond the rule of law and far away from public scrutiny. January also mark the month when President Obama, back in 2009, issued his Executive Order, promising to close Guantánamo within one year.  As we all know, until today Guantánamo remains open.

Guantánamo is a human rights and humanitarian crisis in the Americas region. An example of unlawful actions, impunity, lack of due process and infringement of the right to truth, justice and redress. For many years now, rights groups in the US have been fighting to close it down.

Considering that 2016 is Obama’s last year in power, we would like to ask for your support to join us in a joint statement(see enclosed) urging President Obama to close Guantánamo and guarantee full accountability to in all cases of torture and other ill-treatment. We also add a specific call to Latin American states, to contribute to resolving this human rights and humanitarian crisis by supporting a regional humanitarian effort to receive Guantánamo’s detainees as refugees, responding inclusive to the recent call made by the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights in its latest report on closing Guantánamo.

If you would like to add your organization to the list of endorsing groups, please send an email to Laura Waisbich: by COB next Thursday, January 21st.

​We are hoping to make it public by January, 22nd, the anniversary of Obama's Executive Order.  ​

Feel free to share among your networks, so we can get a wide support across the region.

Best regards,

Laura Waisbich