From the Archive
Day 1 – Sufyian Barhoumi #foreverhumanbeing
Today, on the eve of Ramadan, Witness Against Torture begins its #ForeverHumanBeings & #41MenAtGitmo campaign, which is dedicated to renewing calls to close Guantanamo prison as well as uplifting the stories of the 41 men who remain imprisoned behind its walls. We just released a new video for our first profile – Sufyian Barhoumi – in collaboration with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Please check it out here and share widely.
There are a number of other ways that you can participate in the campaign and we encourage you to get involved and spread the word!
1) Sign-up For our Rolling Fast:
You are free to choose how you fast, whether it is from sunrise to sunset or for 24 hours, or if you drink liquids or simply water. For Muslims who are observing Ramadan, we ask that you dedicate your fast to the prisoner of the day and remember them in your prayers and your supplications when breaking your fast. Sign up here to join the fast and receive reminders and inspiration for your day of fasting.
2) Share and Like our Campaign:
Find us on Facebook and Twitter and share our daily profiles of the men who are currently detained. Also, share your messages of solidarity on facebook and/or twitter with a picture of you with #ForeverHumanBeings & #41MenAtGitmo signs. Please use the banner photo above as your Facebook cover photo!
3) Get Educated:
Take time to learn about the history of Guantanamo Bay and the men currently detained via our website and social media. This link has a list of resources. You can join us on June 15th from 1-2pm for a webinar on Communication Management Units (CMU- often referred to as #GitmoNorth) and the role of Institutionalized Islamophobia in the War on Terror. Registration details forthcoming.
4) Call Your Representatives
You can find your House and Senate representative’s contact information here.
Call the White House (202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414), the US embassy in Cuba (305-326-2755) and Southern Command (305-437-1213), which oversees the running of the prison.
We have provided some talking points below. You can read our News updates and also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more up to date information on what is happening at Guantánamo Bay Prison.
– Each Guantánamo detainee must either be charged and fairly tried in federal court, or be released to countries that will respect their human rights.
– Release the names of the men who are on hunger strike.
– Expedite the release of those that are cleared. 5 of the current prisoners have been cleared for release, yet they continue to languish behind bars. Justice delayed is justice denied.
– Release the men who have been tortured, to a competent and fair international body if necessary. The US is a signatory of the UN Convention Against Torture. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has reported that the Guantánamo Bay prison is non-compliant to this Convention and has named indefinite detention as a form of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report has extensively documented instances of torture by the CIA. Some of the victims are currently housed in Guantánamo.
– Provide reasonable resettlement options, including torture treatment services and reparations. To ensure accountability for torture and indefinite detention, released prisoners should be provided with critical social services to facilitate their re-entry into society.
– Publicly acknowledge and apologize for the egregious human rights violation at Guantánamo during the War on Terror. This acknowledgement is essential for preventing torture, indefinite detention, and other violations from being perpetrated by future administrations.
– Close the base. The U.S. must immediately relinquish Cuba’s sovereign territory.
5) Write to the men
– Messages should be kept to simple messages of greeting and goodwill. Do not include political comments.
– Only send non-religious cards, and avoid referring to religion in your message. For example: rather than writing “you are in our prayers,” write “you are in our thoughts.”
– Include your name and address (including country) in your message. If you receive a reply, please send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.-
– Write your message in simple English, unless specifically stated otherwise.
Send your letter to the following address or in some cases, we may know a particular prisoner’s attorney, so if you are interested in sending the letter through them (the chances are higher that they will get it this way), email us email@example.com.
Detainee ISN (listed here)
U.S. Naval Station
Washington D.C. 20355
United States of America
Please join us in remembering the men locked away, now forever, at Guantánamo and working to close the prison!
Witness Against Torture formed in 2005 when 25 Americans went to Guantánamo Bay and attempted to visit the detention facility. They began to organize more broadly to shut down Guantánamo, end indefinite detention and torture and call out Islamophobia. During our demonstrations, we lift up the words of the detainees themselves, bringing them to public spaces they are not permitted to access. Witness Against Torture will carry on in its activities until torture is decisively ended, its victims are fully acknowledged,Guantánamo and similar facilities are closed, and those who ordered and committed torture are held to account.