CCR | Close Guantanamo Report

January 11, 2009 marked the seventh anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Despite three Supreme Court decisions upholding the rights of Guantanamo’s detainees, 250 men remain at Guantanamo, including more than 150 who will not be charged and should be released to their home countries and 60 men who cannot return to their home countries due to fear of torture or persecution. Court proceedings continue, but have not led to freedom for most of the detained men.

President-elect Barack Obama has pledged repeatedly to close Guantanamo, and many reports have called it a priority for the next administration. However, closing Guantanamo must be – and can be – done quickly and in a way that protects human and constitutional rights.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, the legal organization that has coordinated the representation of the detainees at Guantanamo since 2002, released a new report yesterday that makes clear that, in fact, closing Guantanamo is easy. It lays out three simple steps:

  1. send those who can go home home,
  2. secure safe haven for those who cannot, and
  3. charge those who can be charged then try them in ordinary federal criminal court.

Dispelling myths and providing concrete facts, the report answers the questions about closing Guantanamo and provides a path forward rejecting arbitrary detention, unconstitutional practices, and any systems of so-called ‘preventive detention’ or ‘national security courts’.

Please download the report and share it with colleagues, friends and policy makers. CCR’s unique perspective gained through years of experience representing detainees and on the front lines in the courts provides much-needed information for legislators, journalists and all others concerned with closing the horrific chapter known as Guantanamo and providing a vision for the future firmly anchored in law, justice, human rights and the Constitution.

I would also like to share with you news that our longtime allies at Witness Against Torture are launching a 100 Days campaign to shut down Guantanamo and end torture. Their campaign, which we endorse, began with a nine-day fast for justice that started on January 11 and will continue until the inauguration. Nearly 100 people are participating to call on President-Elect Obama to keep his promise to shut down Guantanamo quickly and end torture during his first days of office. For the first fifteen weeks of the new administration, Witness will maintain a daily presence in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House. Participants will also lobby on Capitol Hill, hold educational and cultural events, and organize creative actions. For more information and a schedule of events, please visit their website at 100DaysCampaign.org.

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~ by peaceseeker99 on January 15, 2009.

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