Close Guantanamo

Tuesday, January 11,  marked 20 years of Muslim men being detained and tortured at Guantanamo. Since January 11, 2002, 780 detainees from 48 countries have been held in Guantanamo Bay. Only 16 were ever charged with criminal offenses, according to Human Rights Watch.

See:​ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/7/guantanamo-bay-explained-in-maps-and-charts-interactive.

Thirty-Nine men are still detained at Guantanamo, 27 of whom are being held without charges. See: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/2022/DetentionandTorture

Demonstrations were held worldwide yesterday calling for the immediate closing of Guantanamo. With temperatures in the mid-’20s and the sun shining, Witness Against Torture (WAT), in concert with Amnesty International, Rehumanize International, Pax Christi, and other groups, held a nonviolent witness in Lafayette Park across from the White House. (Pennsylvania Ave. was closed for security reasons). The witness included a welcome and introduction by Herb Geraghty from Rehumanize International and reflections from WAT co-founders Frida Berrigan and Matt Daloisio and Attorney Tom Wilner who has represented 14 men at Guantanamo. We then heard via cell phone a solidarity message from former Guantánamo Bay detainee Mansoor Adayfi who was imprisoned for 14 years without charge before being released in 2016 to Serbia. This was followed by a reading of the names of the 39 men currently detained at Guantanamo. To conclude the witness, I remembered the nine men, including Adnan Latif, who died at Guantanamo during these last 20 years and led the singing of three songs.

See this link to watch the entire witness: 

https://www.facebook.com/witnessagainsttorture/videos/293436509469796.

Also, see photos at:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1BqC556DauUQRl8ox0qlh90MAC8i-16Eb.

The prophet Isaiah declares: “I formed you and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” (Is. 42:6-7) Let us continue to heed this Divine mandate of justice, healing and transformation and act in hope with people worldwide as we labor to end the sin and crime of war, torture, and indefinite detention, close Guantanamo and all other such sites, renounce Islamophobia, resist all forms of oppression and violence, disarm all weapons and create the Beloved Community.

In peace and hope,
Art Laffin,  Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington, DC

Permanent link to this article: https://www.lacatholicworker.org/wp/2022/01/12/close-guantanamo/

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