Wednesday, January 11 marked 10 years since the US government brought the first twenty Muslim men to the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in order to detain and interrogate them outside of the law.
People around the world protested the anniversary by issuing a resounding “Not in my name!” to the US government’s use of torture, indefinite detention and unfair trials, as part of the Day of Action Against Guantanamo and the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Check out photos, video and news articles: Washington Post story and slideshow; the Miami Herald slideshow; Amnesty USA’s Facebook photos; AI France’s Statue of Liberty stunt; AI’s Spain’s demonstration in front of the US embassy in Madrid; Witness Against Torture’s Live Stream; and Andy Worthington’s overview.
In Washington DC, Amnesty International joined with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Witness Against Torture and over 60 other organizations for a demonstration in front of the White House and a symbolic human chain march past the Department of Justice and Capitol to the Supreme Court.
Our goal with the global day of action was to show the US government that citizens worldwide demand security with human rights. With hundreds of demonstrations, tens of thousands of petition signatures to the global petition against Guantanamo and extensive media coverage, I think we the people did a pretty darn good job.
And in the wake of January 11 activism, there have been positive developments:
- A Spanish judge reopened an investigation into torture at Guantanamo.
- UK police will investigate UK complicity in the US government’s rendition of two Libyans to torture, and a panel will be set up to investigate the claims of abuse by a number of Guantanamo detainees, including Shaker Aamer, the last British resident still held at Guantanamo.
- A French judge has initiated an investigation into the treatment of French citizens at Guantanamo, and has requested a visit to the prison.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called Guantanamo a “flagrant violation of international law” and condemned the National Defense Authorization Act. Russia has plenty of human rights violations of its own, but the statement highlights how the US needs to get its own house in order if it is to push other countries on human rights.
And tell us what you did on January 11: use the comments section and upload photos to the Security with Human Rights Facebook page.