By Elaine Pasquini
On January 11, human rights activists held a protest inside the James R. Browning United States Courthouse, calling for the closure of the U.S.-run prison at Guantanamo Bay and an end to torture and other inhumane practices.
“Today is the ninth anniversary of the opening of the illegal, immoral prison at Guantanamo Bay set up under the Bush-Cheney regime and continuing now under the Obama administration,” World Can’t Wait member Stephanie Tang told the small crowd gathered inside the marble entryway of the federal building.
“Failing to fulfill the executive order he signed at the start of his administration, President Obama has continued indefinite detention, blocking accountability for torture both by refusing to conduct independent and thorough investigations and by attempting to prevent the courts from reviewing lawsuits brought by formerly detained men.” A lawsuit against San Jose-Based Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. by plaintiffs Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah and Bisheral-Rawi is one case blocked by both the Bush and Obama administrations fromproceeding to justice. In December the five plaintiffs petitioned the U.S Supreme Court to review their case.
In addition to The World Can’t Wait, hundred of other organizations, including Amnesty International and the Center for Constitutional Rights, called on the Obama administration to recommit to rapidly closing Guantanamo and to acknowledge that many of the prisoners were detained in error. In addition, the groups demand the prisoners be either charged or released and that the government abandon plans for indefinite detention.
The Obamaadministration has declared it will hold some 50 of the men indefinitely without charge or trial and to formalize indefinite detention through an executive order.
In closing, seven human rights activists, dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods, read the names of the 173 detainees still incarcerated in the controversial site.
The source of this article is SFNewsfeed.us. Photo by Phil Pasquini.