We're Going to #CloseGitmo!

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closegitmoAnother January 11th  Guantanamo  anniversary has come and gone, and still 198 men are detained at the facility (and hundreds more at Bagram). Over the last year there has been some progress, but not with the kind of momentum that we had hoped for last January.  Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Executive Order that President Obama drafted to have the Guantanamo Detention Facility closed within a year, but unfortunately, the detention facility is still open.  The military commissions process continues. And some in the Obama Administration seem to be flirting with the idea of indefinite detention (just in a US-based facility vs. Gitmo). The failed Bush-era policies on torture and indefinite and illegal detention sadly continue to linger on.  And thus the need for our important human rights work continues!

Last week on January 11th, we launched 10,000 Against Torture, a project to demonstrate to the White House and Congress, that Americans want both security AND respect for the rule of law. Over the next weeks, we’ll be doing weekly actions calling for the closure of Gitmo (in a way that respects human rights!) and accountability for these failed policies on torture and indefinite detention.

To mark the missed deadline tomorrow, we’ll be joining MoveOn, ACLU, Human Rights Watch and artists like Coldplay, Tom Morello, and others, by using Twitter and Facebook to get everyone online talking about closing Guantánamo.

Join us by taking action online today, January 21 and tomorrow, January 22:

  • Tweet messages with the “#closegitmo” hashtag (if you follow the  Amnesty USA, you can re-tweet messages that we will be posting)
  • Spread the word! Our goal is to make #closegitmo a top trending topic, and our success depends on reaching many people in a short amount of time to jump-start the conversation. Help us deliver this important message by asking others to join us (especially those with large followings online!)

Written by Njambi Good, Director of Counter Terror with Justice (CTWJ) campaign for Amnesty International USA

Watch "Getting Out of Gitmo" Tonight on PBS

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Tonight (January 27) at 9pm ET PBS will premiere the new Frontline segment “Getting Out of Gitmo,” about the 17 Uighurs illegally detained at Guantanamo.  Check out the trailer here.

Afterward, be sure to take Amnesty International’s Urgent Action on behalf of the Uighurs and our 100 Days Action, calling on President Obama to:

  • Promptly charge Guantánamo detainees with recognizable criminal offenses or release them immediately;
  • Ensure that those detainees who are to be charged receive fair trials in US federal courts;
  • Ensure that an independent commission on US “war on terror” abuses is set up.

Learn more about the Uighur’s Guantanamo detention.