Rights Groups Send An Open Letter to President Obama and Ashton Carter: Free the 57 Guantánamo Prisoners Approved for Transfer

Press Releases // Film

Together the undersigned organizations call for the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to be closed, and we ask President Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to swiftly transfer the 57 prisoners at Guantánamo who have already been cleared for transfer—the majority for over five years—and release or charge in a federal court those who have not been cleared for transfer.

May 23 marks the second anniversary of President Obama’s promise to resume releasing prisoners from Guantánamo, after Congress raised legislative obstacles, which he made during remarks at the National Defense University. The President’s promise was prompted in particular by a prison-wide hunger strike at Guantánamo, undertaken by men who—according to SOUTHCOM Commander General John Kelly—were “devastated” that the administration had “backed off” closing the prison.  

Since that speech, 44 men have been freed. However, 122 men remain at Guantánamo, even though almost all of them have never been charged, let alone tried, for any crime. It is time for President Obama, and Defense Secretary Carter, to take action to transfer the 57 men still held who have already been approved to leave Guantánamo, and to release or charge in federal court those who remain.

Today, just days before the anniversary of President Obama’s promise, a delegation of British MPs is visiting Washington, D.C., to discuss the release of Shaker Aamer, one of the 57 and the last British resident in Guantánamo. This follows the creation of a cross-party Parliamentary Group, and a motion passed by the British Parliament in March, calling for his release and return to his family in the U.K., and a similar call made by Prime Minister David Cameron in a meeting with President Obama in January.

As well as calling for the transfer of the 57 men cleared for transfer, including Shaker Aamer, we also call on the administration to speed up the Periodic Review Boards (PRBs), designed to review the cases of the men who have not been cleared for transfer and are not facing trials. Since the PRBs began in November 2013, 14 men have been reviewed and nine have been cleared for transfer. If the process does not speed up, it will take until January 2021 to complete the reviews—19 years after Guantánamo first opened.

The prison at Guantánamo is an expensive mistake that—according to national security officials, and President Obama—harms U.S. security interests. The U.S. government must act to close the prison as quickly as possible.

For further information, please contact Andy Worthington of Close Guantánamo at: andyworthington87@gmail.com

or Matt Hawthorne of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) at: mhawthorne@nrcat.org

For further information about the British Parliamentary delegation, please contact Katherine O’Shea of Reprieve at: katherine.oshea@reprieve.org


21 Arrested: Demonstrators Interrupt US Senate; Block DC Central Cell Block Entrance

Campaigns // Film

Washington, D.C.— Witness Against Torture held two actions in Washington, DC condemning domestic racism and the violation of human rights in the War on Terror.

Banner Wide Straight

Inside the United States Senate chamber at 2:30 pm, thirteen demonstrators interrupted Senate proceedings to call for prosecutions of those who committed torture, as detailed in the US Senate report on CIA interrogations. Chanting “Torture, It’s Official, Prosecute Now!” the protestors addressed the Senate before being arrested by Capitol Police. In the Senate Visitors Center, another group held banners with such slogans as “Accountability for Police Murder, Accountability for Torture.” Nine were arrested in the Visitors Center.

At 4:45 pm, members of Witness Against Torture obstructed the entrance to DC Metro Police headquarters for 28 minutes, in recognition that a person of color is killed by police or vigilantes every 28 hours in the United States. They recited the names of dozens of victims of police violence and spoke the words of men indefinitely detained in Guantánamo Bay calling for justice. Activists from the DC Hands Up Coalition stood outside chanting and singing.

Earlier at the Department of Justice, Witness Against Torture joined the Hands Up DC Coalition at their Justice Monday Vigil to call for the indictment of law enforcement officers who have killed people of color. The two groups brought coffins marking the deaths of three African-Americans killed by police to the doors of the Justice Department and were addressed by the mother of Emmanuel Okutuga, killed in 2011 in Silver Spring, Maryland. They also conveyed the stories of men still detained at Guantanamo, despite being clear for release by the US government years ago.

“Grand juries refused even to indict the police murderers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, just like the Justice Department has refused to prosecute CIA torturers, whose crimes are detailed in the Senate report,” said Marie Shebeck, from Chicago Illinois. “Where is justice if we are not equal under the law, if some people can literally get away with murder and torture.”

“We came to the US Senate, the Justice Department, and a DC jail,” says Uruj Sheikh, from New York City, “to convey with a new voice that racism and Islamophobia, torture tactics in US prisons like extended solitary confinement and the torture of indefinite detention at Guantánamo are two parts of the same system of white supremacy and militarized violence.”

The actions were the culmination of a week-long series of demonstrations calling for the closure of Guantánamo Bay prison, an end to torture, mass incarceration, and police violence. Activists are available for interviews.


HandsUp Coalition DC to Bring ‘Coffin’ to Department of Justice

Press Releases // Film

Up CoalitionDC  To Bring ‘Coffin’ to Department of Justice 

January 13, 2015, Washington, D.C .Washington-based Hands Up Coalition DC will deliver a coffin to its ‘Justice Monday Vigil’ at the Department of Justice Monday, January 12, 4:00 PM. The coffin symbolizes the deaths of two mentally ill African Americans recently killed in police custody. We will also honor the life of unarmed Emmanuel Okutuga murdered by police.

“While most Americans observed the year-end holiday season, the slave patrol/ police force did not,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo. Citing the deaths of Matthew Ajibade, a bipolar sufferer who died in solitary confinement in Savannah, Georgia on New Years Day; and a January 2 ruling of homicide as the cause of death of schizophrenic, Tanisha Anderson in a Cleveland jail late last year. “Sadly,” Coleman-Adebayo added, “we mourn two more blacks killed while in police custody.”

Justice Mondays began after grand juries failed to indict the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo and Eric Garner in New York City.

This week the Hands Up Coalition DC will be joined by Witness Against Torture who will be emphasizing the link between Ferguson and Guantanamo. They will be highlighting the connection between white silence and state violence and calling for resistance to both anti-black racism and Islamaphobia. As a community that has focused largely on accountability for the government’s policies and practices of torture, they’re joining the Black Lives Matter movement in demanding accountability for rampant police brutality and murder of black people across the United States.

“There are specific, immediate and urgently-needed steps that Attorney General Eric Holder can take today,” said Kimone Freeman, Program Director of We Act Radio. “In the two years since AG Holder promised to investigate  Trayvon Martin’s murder, George Zimmerman has threatened to kill 4 other people. Just this week, the courts took his guns away.”

Why we march in front of the DOJ

  1. According to the Supreme Court: “[to] act willfully…[is to] act in open defiance or reckless disregard of a constitutional requirement…” of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from excessive force. Travon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless othersdeserved those same protections. AG Holder—with existing court precedents—could bring charges against the officers in these cases—today.
  2. In civil rights investigations regarding the murders of unarmed black boys and men, DOJ should release it’s findings as to whether the evidence merits bringing cases to trial. AG Holder could bring charges against the officers in these cases—today.
  3. There is no place in domestic policing for the militarization of police forces nationwide. AG Holder could withdraw all funding for militarization of police—today.
  4. There is widespread misuse of the Grand Jury process in cases involving police killing of blacks. Robert McCullough’s handling of the Michael Brown Grand Jury is a perfect example. McCullough is under investigation for ethics violations and a Michael Brown grand juror has sued to be relieved of a gag order. AG Holder could reopen that case—today.

“Torturers Tour” at Homes of John Brennan and Dick Cheney, Followed by Vigil at CIA Headquarters

Press Releases // Film

Washington DC — On Saturday, January 10th, the eve of the anniversary Guantanamo Bay Prison’s opening, anti-torture activists from human rights groups CODEPINK and Witness Against Torture will gather to demonstrate at the homes of high-ranking officials who have previously authorized torture. These officials include former VP Dick Cheney and current Director of the CIA John Brennan. Activists will then hold a vigil at the CIA headquarters in Virginia. Between 30-60 protesters are expected to attend, most wearing orange Guantanamo-style prison orange jumpsuits and black hoods.

Schedule of events for Saturday, January 10, 2015:

8:00am: Meet at Frying Pan National Park in Herdon, VA

8:10: Leave park for John Brennan’s house right down the road (13351 Point Rider Lane, Herndon VA)

9:00: Leave John Brennan’s house

9:30: Arrive at Dick Cheney’s house (1126 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA)

10:00: Leave Dick Cheney’s house to go to CIA (1000 Colonial Farm Road, McLean, VA)

10:10-11:30: CIA Protest and Vigil

“The release of the Torture Report at the end of 2014 exposed the American government’s horrific human rights record,” said Alli McCracken, National Coordinator of the peace group CODEPINK. “The war criminals who lied about torture, and are getting away with it, should be prosecuted and Guantanamo prison must be closed now.”

“Giving a pass to yesterday’s torturers, like Dick Cheney, by failing to prosecute them,” said Witness Against Torture organizer Jeremy Varon, “gives a green light to tomorrow’s torturers and may doom the United States to repeating this awful crime.  We the people can judge Cheney and others for what they did, in hopes that the law might soon as well.”

“Dick Cheney has not only justified the US use of torture, but has said he’d do it all over again,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “We’re going to his house, and John Brennan’s house, to show that there are Americans who have moral values and are disgusted that these ‘leaders’ are not behind bars.”


Groups to Rally Sunday at White House on 13th Guantánamo Anniversary

Fast for Justice 2015 // Film

Washington, DC – A coalition of human rights activists, torture survivors, Guantánamo attorneys, 9-11 family members, and members of diverse faith communities is holding a rally at the White House followed by a march to the Justice Department on Sunday, January 11, to mark the 13th anniversary of the first arrival of detainees at Guantanamo.  The event, titled “A Promise Still to Keep: Close Guantánamo, Stop Torture, and End Indefinite Detention,” will follow an interfaith service in front of the White House at 1pm.

The coalition is calling on the Obama administration and Congress to close Guantánamo, end indefinite detention, ensure accountability for torture, and reaffirm the absolute legal ban on torture.  The rally will be followed by a visually powerful “detainee procession” of figures in orange jumpsuits and black hoods and signs marking the anniversary.

The groups involved drafted a call to action:

On the second day of his administration, President Obama pledged to close the detention facility at Guantánamo and reaffirmed the ban on torture. But Guantánamo remains open.

On January 11, 2015 the detention facility will enter its 14th year of operation. Despite the recent release of some detained men, more than 100 remain at Guantánamo, including dozens who are cleared for transfer — the great majority of whom are from Yemen. Those still detained suffer the torment of separation from their families and ongoing, indefinite detention. Some detainees remain on hunger strike and are brutally force-fed.

The Senate report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program describes acts of torture that shock the conscience. President Obama banned the CIA torture program by executive order when he took office, but that is insufficient to ensure that torture and other ill-treatment are never used again. Obama’s Justice Department has refused to prosecute those who authorized, ordered, designed, and carried out a torture program that is in plain violation of U.S. law and treaty obligations.

President Obama, whose second term will soon end, must fulfill his promise to close the detention facility and end torture. The time to act is now.

1:00pm Interfaith service in front of the White House sponsored by the National Religious Coalition Against Torture and Interfaith Action for Human Rights

1:30pm Rally in front of the White House followed by a march to the Justice Department

Sponsors: Amnesty International USA, the Blue Lantern Project, the Center for Constitutional Rights, CloseGitmo.net, Code Pink, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Reprieve, September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, the Torture Abolition and Survivor and Support Coalition, Veterans for Peace, We Stand with Shaker, Witness Against Torture, World Can’t Wait, and others. 

Organizational Quotes

“We urge President Obama to continue to release men from Guantanamo and to bring renewed attention in particular to cleared Yemeni men – including our clients, Tariq Ba Odah, Mohammed Al Hamiri, Fahd Ghazy, and Ghaleb Al-Bihani – to put an end to their indefinite detention based on their Yemeni citizenship. Whatever pretense of authority to detain the men at Guantánamo existed during combat operations in Afghanistan, it has evaporated: it is past time to close the prison and bring a swift end to 13 years of indefinite detention without charge or trial.” ~ Baher Azmy, legal director, Center for Constitutional Rights

“The Guantanamo Bay prison facility is a travesty of our justice system that has globally tarnished America’s reputation. Continued detainment of these prisoners under such dire, harsh conditions without due process is unethical and unconscionable. Many inmates were cleared for release years ago, yet they still remain imprisoned. The Council on American-Islamic Relations calls on President Obama to hold true to his promise, bring all the detainees to trial or release them, and shut down Guantanamo once and for all.” ~ Zainab Chaudry, spokesperson, Council on American-Islamic Relations and board member, Interfaith Action for Human Rights

“Thirteen years on, it is a scandal that more than a hundred people remain imprisoned at Guantanamo without charge or trial, half of them long cleared for release. While the latest wave of transfers out of the prison is encouraging, there are still abuses happening at Guantanamo every day – and the White House continues to try to bury the evidence. Instead of covering up the failings of the prison, in 2015 Obama must redouble his efforts to close it once and for all.” ~ Cori Crider, strategic director, Reprieve, and a lawyer for several Guantanamo detainees

“Despite the White House’s efforts to close Guantanamo, 59 men who have already been cleared for release remain. TASSC calls on President Obama to fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo and on Congress not to hinder the Administration’s efforts to close Guantanamo.” ~ Gizachew Emiru, Esq., executive director, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition

“As we count a grim thirteenth year since Guantanamo opened, dozens of men continue to languish there with no idea when or even if their detention will end. The president has momentum and the legal authority to finally shut down Guantanamo, and must act quickly. Congress should not seek to restrict or slow these efforts.” ~ Noor Mir, associate field organizer, Amnesty International USA 

“Guantanamo symbolizes two immoral acts – torture and imprisonment without trial.  It should have been closed more than a decade ago.  The National Religious Campaign Against Torture applauds the Administration for transferring 28 detainees in 2014, now it’s time to close Guantanamo and sign legislation that permanently ends torture.” ~ Rev. Ron Stief, executive director, National Religious Campaign Against Torture

“The Bush regime opened the torture camp at Guantánamo Bay not just to imprison captives but to send a message to the world that the U.S. could operate with impunity outside the norms of international law.  The Obama administration has had six years to close it, punish those who ordered the torture, and forever repudiate indefinite detention and secret rendition as national policy, but to its great discredit, has not.  We who care about justice demand the closure of Guantanamo immediately.” ~ Debra Sweet, director, World Can’t Wait

“The Yemeni prisoners cleared for release or transfer still held at Guantánamo have waited more than a decade to see their families.  It will take the administration years to carry out its strategy of finding third countries where these 50+ men can be strangers.  Send them home today!” ~ Nancy Talanian, No More Guantanamos

“With the Senate report on CIA interrogations, we decisively know that the United States committed torture.  The ongoing operation of the prison at Guantanamo extends injustices that are hardly now in the past.  The eyes of the world are vigilantly watching to see if President Obama fulfills his pledge to close the prison, and will judge his presidency and the country he leads based on whether he succeeds.” ~ Jeremy Varon, Witness Against Torture

“We congratulate President Obama for his progress towards closing Guantanamo in the last year, but much more remains to be done – the release of the 59 men still held who have long been approved for release, and trials or release for all the other men still held. The president has two more years to fulfill the promise to close Guantanamo that he made when he took office six long years ago. He must not fail!” ~ Andy Worthington, CloseGuantanamo.org


WAT Protests at British Embassy Over Imprisonment of Shaker Aamer

Press Releases // Film

Press Advisory


Daniel Wilson



US group, Witness Against Torture, Protests at British Embassy Over Imprisonment of Shaker Aamer

Washington D.C.- On the afternoon of January 6th U.S.based group, Witness Against Torture, will protest at the British Embassy over the continued imprisonment of Shaker Aamer, British citizen currently detained at Guantanamo Bay. Dozens of protesters dressing in orange jumpsuits and black hoods will sing, chant and display posters saying “I Stand With Shaker Aamer” along with banners depicting Aamer’s face. In solidarity with several UK based groups and Aamer’s lawyers, Witness Against Torture will demand that the British government take a stronger stance both for the immediate release of Shaker Aamer and closure of the illegal detention facility in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. A pending legal case against the UK brought by Aamer’s lawyers has invigorated renewed interest in his release.

Mr. Aamer, who has been held for 13 years without charge or trial. US authorities approved his release in 2007, under George W. Bush, and again in 2009, under Barack Obama. The British Government has been requesting his return since 2007


MAY 23, 2014 – Global Day of Action to Close Guantánamo

Press Releases // Film

Not Another Broken Promise! Not Another Day in Guantánamo!

On May 23rd of last year, President Obama again promised to close the detention facility at Guantánamo.  His pledge came in response to the mass hunger strike by men protesting their indefinite detention and to the renewed, global condemnation of the prison.  One year later, far too little has changed: few detained men have left the prison and hunger strikes and forced feeding continue. Join us in Washington DC, across the US, and around the world to urge President Obama and Congress to end indefinite detention and close the detention facility at Guantánamo.

So far, demonstrations, fasts, and vigils are planned in Chicago, Raleigh, New York City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Buffalo, and Boston. Click here for a toolkit to plan your own action. Please email WitnessTorture@gmail.com if you are planning or hoping to plan an action in your community.

The May 23rd Day of Action is being coordinated by Witness Against Torture in collaboration with:

  • Amnesty International
  • The Center for Constitutional Rights
  • CloseGitmo.net
  • Code Pink
  • Blue Lantern Project
  • London Guantánamo Campaign
  • No More Guantánamos
  • The Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition,
  • World Can’t Wait
  • The National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • Veterans for Peace
  • September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
  • Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
  • Project Peace, Tiffin Area Pax Christi, and People for Peace & Justice Sandusky County
  • Free Omar Khadr Now
  • The Justice Campaign
  • Metro New York Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • north Carolina stop torture now
  • The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
  • Pax Christi Metro New York
  • AmnestyUSA/OK/Group #238
  • veterans for Peace
  • Hartford Catholic Worker
  • Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
  • Chicago Benedictines for Peace
  • Afghan YP Volunteers
  • Tackling Torture at the Top!
  • Committee of Women Against Military Madness
  • Socialist Party USA’s Anti-Imperialism Committee
  • School of the Americas Watch
  • Hilton Head for Peace
  • Northern NJ Socialist Party

Contact WitnessTorture@gmail.com  if your organization would like to sign-on as an endorser.

Find the Facebook event listing here.

Click here to read Witness Against Torture’s full Call To Action.


(click here to read the full report from the retreat)

Jonah House filled up over the course of Thursday, March 21 as friends and fellow activists flew, drove, bused, and trained into Baltimore for our second annual strategic planning retreat.

We reflected on the lives of the men in Guantanamo, our own lives, and our collective commitment to acting on behalf of those who remain detained.

We committed, in 2014/2015:

  1. To organize a Global Day of Action to Close Guantánamo and End US Torture on May 23, 2014.
  2.  To participate in Torture Survivor Awareness Month activities in Washington DC from June26th thru the 30th. This will include meetings to talk more about WAT.
  3. To mobilize around lawsuits that are currently challenging forced-feeding in Guantanamo &hold President Obama and the Guantanamo envoys in the State Department and Pentagon to their promise(s) — more info to come soon
  4. To come together on and around January 11th, 2015.

Finally, we formed a WAT Organizing Team (See description below).

What is the WAT Organizing Team?

At the retreat, we decided that we want a new structure so that WAT can mobilize actions and respond to developments in Guantánamo with greater frequency, reach, and power.  To make this happen, we set up an Organizing Team, compromising members from different regions and with diverse skill sets.

Nine volunteers — Jerica, Matt, Beth B, Marie, Chrissy, Palina, Beth A, Chris K, and Jeremy — agreed to join the team.

Some of the core tasks of the Organizing Team are: to think of strategic ways — year round — that WAT can serve its goals of closing Guantánamo and ending torture; to mobilize people and other resources to take effective action; to devise rapid responses to particular crises at Guantanamo and shifts in the political landscape; and to build and maintain relationships with allies.

Equally important, the Organizing Team exists to help WAT members nationwide bring their own actions and campaigns to fruition by directing resources to them and providing, as needed, assistance with particular tasks (eg, media work, demo design, getting materials onto our Website and into our social media).  The Organizing Team, that is, works in two directions: it directs energy out to WAT nationwide; and it receives ideas, input, and instruction from WAT members everywhere to facilitate local action.

The Team will meet face-to-face again in June, and we will assess as a larger group how it is working, as well as its composition, in January of next year.


We are inviting you to join WAT’s Friday Fast for Justice.  If you join the fast, we would ask you to:

  • Fast on Friday, in any form you like;
  • Make three phone calls to (1) the White House to urge President Obama to declassify the executive summary and major findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture swiftly and in their entirety,  as well as to fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 ; (2) to Cliff Sloan at the State Department to insist he work more quickly to shut the doors and empty the cells of the prison. Let him know that you are disappointed that since President Obama’s speech last May, only 12 men have been released:  202-647-4000;  and (3) to U.S. Southern Command to decry the conditions at Guantanamo: 305-437-1213.  Talking points on behalf of Guantánamo prisoners: I am fasting for 24 hours in solidarity with the prisoners at Guantánamo, especially for those who are on hunger strike.  I am calling today out of concern for them and for the rest of the prisoners.  I am asking you to resume releasing the number of prisoners on hunger strike and to stop the inhumane force-feeding of them.  Lastly, the U.S. must release those cleared for release and close Guantanamo.
  • Write to a prisoner at Guantánamo.  Choose a prisoner’s name off the list  at the Amnesty International website. There is also a sample letter that  can be downloaded and printed off here. The address to send the letter to is:

Detainee Name
Detainee ISN
Guantánamo Bay
P.O. Box 160
Washington, D.C. 20355
United States of America

If you are already participating in or are interested in participating in the Friday Fast forJustice, please sign up here.  You can commit to fasting on a specific Friday, on May 23rd, the Global Day of Action to Close Guantanamo and End U.S. Torture; weekly for a particular time period; until Guantánamo is closed; or whatever works for you.


Please ‘like’ us on Facebook & Follow Us on Twitter & Instagram

Post any pictures of your local activities to Flickr, and we will help spread the word on Tumblr.


Witness Against Torture is completely volunteer driven and run.  We have no paid staff, but do have expenses associated with our organizing work.  If you are able, please donate here.


US Activist to Undergo “Forced-Feeding” Outside Federal Court in Solidarity with Guantánamo Prisoners

Hunger Strike Response // Film

Nasal Tube Feeding to Follow Hearing on Human Rights Violations at Guantanamo

WHEN: Friday, October 18, 11 am
WHERE: US District Court – 333 Constitution Ave NW, Wash., D.C
WHAT: Nasal Tube Feeding of Solidarity Hunger Striker

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Anti-torture activists will hold a nasal tube-feeding of a long-term faster to dramatize the abusive force-feeding of hunger strikers at Guantánamo and to protest indefinite detention at the prison.  The feeding will take place at 11 am, following consideration by a federal appeals court of a lawsuit arguing that force-feeding at Guantánamo is a violation of human rights and religious liberties.
Continue reading US Activist to Undergo “Forced-Feeding” Outside Federal Court in Solidarity with Guantánamo Prisoners


US Hunger Striker to Undergo Forced Feeding at White House Rally to Close Guantanamo and End Solitary Confinement Solidarity With Gitmo & Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

Hunger Strike Response // Film

WHERE: The White House, 1600 Penn. Ave.
WHEN: Friday, September 6, noon-1pm
WHAT: Force-feeding of US activist at rally to close Guantanamo & end solitary confinement
WHO: CloseGitmo.net, Witness Against Torture, Code Pink, Veterans For Peace, and others

WASHINGTON, D.C. CloseGitmo.net organizer Andrés Thomas Conteris on day 61 of his fast in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners in Guantánamo and Pelican Bay— will undergo a nasogastric feeding in front of the White House on Friday, September 6 at noon.  Conteris will underscore the brutality of force-feeding, to which dozens of men at Guantanamo have been subjected since a new hunger strike began last February, and which California officials have threatened for hunger striking prisoners in Pelican Bay protesting the use of extended solitary confinement in US prisons.  The American Medical Association, the United Nations, and Senators John McCain and Diane Feinstein have all condemned force-feeding.
Continue reading US Hunger Striker to Undergo Forced Feeding at White House Rally to Close Guantanamo and End Solitary Confinement Solidarity With Gitmo & Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers


Starving for Justice: US Hunger Strikers and Human Rights Activists Rally on Wednesday, June 26 at White House to Demand Closure of Guantánamo Prison Camp

Press Releases // Film

Washington, D.C. – Weeks past President Obama’s speech announcing his renewed intention to close Guantanamo, human rights activists — including three US military veterans on open-ended fasts in solidarity with hunger striking Guantanamo detainees — will stage dramatic protests on Wednesday, June 26th at the White House calling on the President to turn his promise into action.

140 days into the hunger strike at Guantánamo, members of Witness Against Torture and other groups will lay 86 black cloths, each with the name of a Guantánamo prisoner cleared for transfer, on the sidewalk of the White House to dramatize the demand that the President begin transferring men from the prison facility.

In response to the hunger strike of Guantánamo detainees, several US citizens have for weeks been on open-ended fasts, suffering the health effects of sustained hunger. They hope with their immense sacrifice to draw attention to the plight of the Guantánamo detainees and force the President to act.

“What is happening in Guantánamo is despicable,” says Elliott Adams, a former paratrooper in Vietnam on hunger strike since May 17. “The continued detention of innocent men is a violation of our moral and religious principles, domestic and international law. It goes against the values I thought the American flag stood for when I was a young man in the Army. I just can’t sit and enjoy my life when my country is doing such terrible things.”

Diane Wilson, a former Army medic and fourth-generation shrimp boat captain from Texas who has lost 50 pounds in over 56 days, says, “I know who this American fisherwoman is and where I stand. I stand in solidarity with the Guantánamo prisoners and I will fast indefinitely until justice for them comes.”

Veterans For Peace national board member Tarak Kauff, on hunger strike since June 8, says, “It is up to human beings of conscience to take the risks, step out of our comfort zones and do our utmost to end the nightmare of Guantánamo. If we do not act now, our children and their children will reap the bitter results of our cowardice: an America without basic rights and a world without justice.”

The US hunger strikers amplify the “rolling fast,” organized by Witness Against Torture, in which hundreds of United States citizens have fasted in support of the hunger strikers at Guantánamo.

“It should not take people denying themselves food, whether in Guantánamo or in the US, to have President Obama stand up for the Constitution and human rights,” says Matt Daloisio, organizer with Witness Against Torture. “The renewed promise to close Guantánamo is important, but without immediate steps to release people, it is only another promise.”

What: Protest to Close Guantánamo on the UN International Day for Survivors of Torture
Who: US hunger strikers, Witness Against Torture, and other activists.
Where: The White House
When: Wednesday, June 26; Rally and speeches at the White House at noon.

Information on the protest and profiles of the hunger strikers are available at www.closegitmo.net