Activists demand US shut down of Gitmo prison

Activists demand US shut down of Gitmo prison
Sat May 24, 2014 08:25:53

Activists around the world have joined the Gitmo Global Day of Action, demanding the shut down of the military prison and torture campt and slamming US President Barack Obama on failing to fulfil his promises as hunger strikes and brutal force-feeding continue there.

The campaign, coordinated by the Witness Against Torture group, along with other human rights organizations, are banding together for a Global Day of Action to Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention.

The major demonstration took place at Lafayette Square in front of the White House in Washington, DC. Additional rallies took place in other US cities, including Chicago, New York and San Francisco. London (UK), Mexico City (Mexico), Munich (Germany), Sydney (Australia) and Toronto (Canada) are also joining the campaign.

The protesters made speeches and wore orange jumpsuits representing detainees as part of photogenic demonstrations, according to a statement by Amnesty International, another organizer of the action. The participants of the rally were also urged to sign a petition and tweet at Barack Obama and @WhiteHouse.

On May 23, 2013, Obama again promised to close the detention facility but the situation in notorious prison hasn’t improved so far. Now a year later human rights groups decided to remind the US president of his broken promise. The first ‘vow’ to close the prison was made during Obama’s first presidential campaign back in 2007.

“Guantanamo continues to be an example of how the United States has forfeited the most basic human rights. We now stand as a country that tortures and detains prisoners indefinitely,” says the group on its website.

In 2009, the freshly-inaugurated President Obama signed an executive order to close the detention facility within one year. However, the prison remained operational. He claimed the vow meant to "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism."

Two years later in 2011, he signed another executive order, focused on creating a review process for detainees aiming to "establish, as a discretionary matter, a process to review on a periodic basis the executive branches continued, discretionary exercise of existing detention authority in individual cases."

According to another human rights group, The World Can't Wait, which joined the campaign, Guantanamo prison “was always wrong and no government should be able to create such torture camps.”


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