Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 322

Cold/Flu symptoms stopped me from going to the Baylor Clinic today so while stuck in bed I wrote some letters for human rights through Amnesty International:

I've been reading the Guantanamo Files and am horrified with the treatment of prisoners (or rather, the many innocent people) held there, so today's letters were for the people being held there.

The first letter I wrote was to stop Congress from making Guantanamo permanent. We are facing one of the biggest crises at Guantanamo since “war on terror” detainees were first transferred there nearly 10 years ago: Congress may soon vote to make indefinite detention and unfair trials permanent. The 89 people there who are approved for release could remain forever. The 46 slated for detention without charge could be denied due process forever. The 36 referred for prosecution could only be tried in unfair kangaroo courts. The United States government should be protecting human rights, not violating them.

Along the same lines I wrote a letter urging the Senate to remove Guantanamo provisions from the National Defense Authorization Act that has provisions that would keep Guantanamo open, further entrenching indefinite detention and unfair trials.

The next one was to ask our government to charge or release Shaker Aamer, a former UK resident detained at Guantanamo, who has been held without charge for nearly 10 years – despite the UK government’s repeated requests that he be returned to his wife and four children in London. Indefinite detention is a human rights violation. It must end.

The last one I wrote was for Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim who remains detained in Guantánamo without charge or trial after eight years, despite the fact that on December 16, 2009, US federal judge Ricardo Urbina found his detention unlawful and ordered his release. The government is appealing Judge Urbina's ruling and it is not known when the US Court of Appeals will hand down its decision. I wrote to urge the administration to release Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim immediately and allow him to be reunited with his family in Yemen.

Please read through some of these cases (Guantanamo Files is a great place to start) and stay informed with what's going on - the human rights violations you will read about are truly horrific and disgusting! Hoping and praying for those still going through the torture...

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