Last week Friday on the eve of Ramadan, Witness Against Torture began 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 remained imprisoned behind its walls.
There are a number of 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 for daily reminders and inspirations.
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. Also, please use the 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 on our website and social media. This link has a list of resources. Also, join us on June 15th from 1-2 for a webinar on Communication Management Units (often referred to as #GitmoNorth) and the role of Institutionalized Islamophobia in the War on Terror. 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. 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 a letter
- 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 email@example.com.
- Write your message in simple English, unless specifically stated otherwise.
Detainee ISN (listed here)
U.S. Naval Station
Washington D.C. 20355
Note: In some cases, Witness Against Torture 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Maha Hilal is a Senior Researcher for Reprieve US