Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guantanamo Action and Update: ACLU/CagePrisoners dot com

Yesterday, five high-profile detainees attempted to submit guilty pleas before the government’s ill-conceived military commissions. But, by the end of the day, their pleas were tied up in a blizzard of confusion over unresolved legal questions.

It's not clear what will happen next if these unjust proceedings are allowed to continue. But, what is abundantly clear is that, no matter how hard the government tries to advance the military commissions, this process doesn't work.

History will show that any guilty pleas in these proceedings were the result of an inhumane, unjust process designed to achieve a foregone conclusion. The only solution is to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay and shut down these unjust military commissions.

As you know, the ACLU is calling on President-elect Obama to close Guantánamo, ban torture, and shut down indefensible military commissions on his first day in office. This trip to Guantánamo has convinced me that it is more essential than ever to keep the pressure on -- because what’s happening down here flies in the face of justice, fairness and our American ideals. Sign our Open Letter to Barack Obama now.

The ACLU is working on all fronts to dismantle this system of injustice that the Bush administration has created. We’re sponsoring expert civilian counsel to those held at Guantánamo, mobilizing our nationwide network of grassroots activists, filing lawsuits and exposing the truth.

Just last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a vitally important ACLU case taking on the Bush administration’s sweeping claim that it can indefinitely imprison a legal resident of the United States without charging him with a crime or trying him before a jury.

Our case was filed on behalf of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who has been detained in solitary confinement at a Navy brig in South Carolina since June 2003.

Al-Marri asked the Court to reverse a federal appeals court decision that gave the president sweeping power to deprive individuals in the United States of their most basic constitutional rights simply by designating them “enemy combatants.”

We will urge the Court to ensure that people in this country cannot be seized from their homes and imprisoned indefinitely simply because the president says so.

From this important Supreme Court challenge to indefinite detention to our grassroots efforts to demand the closure of Guantánamo and the end of Bush’s military commissions, your support and your voice are essential to our success. Help us keep the pressure on and add tens of thousands of names to our Open Letter to Barack Obama. Sign our Open Letter to Barack Obama now:

Finally, I want to tell you about another critical victory in the ACLU’s effort to restore justice and the rule of law in America.

In a crucial ACLU case, a federal appeals court acted last week to rebuff the Bush administration’s efforts to deport Egyptian torture victim Sameh Khouzam. The case hinged on his right to challenge Egypt’s “diplomatic assurances” that it will not torture Khouzam upon his return.

This is an enormous victory for due process and the rights of all people -- citizens or not -- to be free from torture. And it’s a stinging rejection of the government’s attempts to simply eliminate the role of the courts in reviewing the government’s actions.

You’re helping us win critical victories. President-elect Obama has committed to close Guantánamo. Help us keep the pressure on until we fully renew America’s commitment to freedom.


Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director

P.S. In the courts and in the court of public opinion, the evidence against our government’s injustice continues to mount. Take a moment right now to see our new video Here in which top military lawyers challenge the unjust military commissions underway here at Guantánamo Bay.
Get out the word - There is to be an historic event - A First...

Cageprisoners Presents:


A national tour to mark seven years of unlawful detention, abuse and torture

January 11th 2009 - 4th February 2009

SAMI AL HAJ (Ex Guantanamo Detainee and Aljazeera Journalist)

CHRISTOPHER ARENDT (Ex-Guantanamo Guard)

MOAZZAM BEGG (Ex-Guantanamo Detainee, Spokesman for Cageprisoners)

Guantanamo Bay stands as one of the most potent symbols of unlawful detention in the world today. The detention of suspected terrorists as the prison camps has evoked emotion from those seeking its closure and continuance.

Cageprisoners presents Two Sides – One Story­, a tour of the UK that brings those on opposite sides of wire at Guantanamo together for the first time.

Chris Arendt, a former guard at the base has agreed to speak about his experiences in detaining suspected terrorists and bring new insights into the way the US administration carried out policies against them.

Also for the first time the detained Al Jazeera journalist Sami El Haj will be speaking with Moazzam Begg as they both reflect on life at the prison on the opposite to Chris.

This unique tour is a historic moment in the continued War on Terror and will be launched on 11th January 2009, exactly seven years after the first transfers to Guantanamo Bay.

For more information please click Here


Connie L. Nash said...

Please note that there are many items here the last few days to commemorate & ask for attention to human rights abuses around the world...what with the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights...

Take note & reflect to see where you may fit in to prevent & stop such travesties to other folk not much unlike any of us!

Connie, blogger here...

Connie L. Nash said...

US Human Rights Network
Have your Say Series: International Human Rights Day
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY EVERY DAY by Ian Fletcher, Azadeh N. Shahshahani, and Janvieve Williams Comrie.

ON DECEMBER 10TH (as most readers here will probably know) people around the world observe Human Rights Day. This day commemorates the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations in 1948. The declaration sets forth an array of basic civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, such as the right to marry, vote, join a union, receive an education, and speak one's language. These rights are universal, inalienable, and indivisible. They belong to each and every one of us because of our common humanity. Read Full Article

HRP releases the 2008 Human Rights Report Card for City Council.

December 10, 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the UDHR
Celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - by joining the conversation on the Hub. We're asking you: What Image Opened Your Eyes to Human Rights. Get involved here

"Know Your Rights Week": December 10, 2008 - December 17, 2008 In collaboration with the Office of Justice & Peace of the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Catholic harities, CHIRLA is coordinating the distribution of business-size multi-lingual cards during "Know Your Rights Week" beginning on December 10 (World Human Rights Day) thru December 16, 2008. The goal is to distribute 1 million of these KYR cards.

What is International Human Rights Day?

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.

The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights. The commemoration was established in 1950, when the General Assembly invited all states and interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.

What is Have Your Say?

It's two things. It's the name that we use to describe communications about human rights by and through the different communties, organizations, groups, individuals, etc. and the US Human Rights Network Coordinating Center. And it's a way that you can have a say for our podcasts and new technologies productions.

Statement from Ajamu Baraka on the occassion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Sixty years ago, the world emerged out of the nightmare of Nazi atrocities and the devastation of global war to embrace a revolutionary concept: that each and every human being had inherent value and fundamental rights that their governments were compelled to acknowledge and protect in order to gain and maintain international legitimacy. The newly formed United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that it produced in 1948 represented the embodiment of this ideal. Read Full Statement

Click here to listen to Ajamu's reflections from Ghana...


1. If you could advise President-elect Barack Obama and his new administration, what would be the three things you would counsel him to change immediately that would make a difference in regards to human rights?

2. If you were in charge of International Human Rights Day, what would you do to make it a more meaningful day? US Network of Users and Survivors
I welcome the opportunity to tell the president-elect what I think about a disability agenda, especially in relation to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Click here to listen to full recommendations Ramona Ortega, Cidadao Global, New York City
President Obama, make a commitment to end racialized poverty in America. Join the rest of the world in fighting for the elimination of poverty through the Millennium Development Goals.Click here to listen to full recommendations Ajamu Dillahunt, Black Workers for Justice
First, the new administration should address the issues of Afro-Colombians and stop the fair trade agreements that will further marginalize Afro-Colombians. Second, I would withdraw all the funding for Plan Colombia, which is another source of problems for Afro-Colombians.

Elena Herrada, Centro Obrero, DetroitEnd Deportations!Click here to listen...Please visit our Have Your Say on Human Rights Day for more audios from other activists.You can still call in and make your voice hear. We will keep this Have Your Say! page up for another 10 days, and will keep updating the page with your comments and suggestions.

Call (214) 615-6040 use pin code: 179-478-139# and press option number 1 to record your message.

**Please limit your answers to three minutes and be sure include your name and organization (or location/school) at the beginning of the recording. Selected audio will be featured in the next podcast, and other audio clips on our website as well as on Radio Diaspora transmitting in Atlanta every Saturday from 5-7PMEDT and worldwide via member organization wrfg.org 89.3FM Atlanta.