50,000 signatures reached
President Obama Must Keep His Promise & Close Guantánamo. No more Excuses.
To: President Obama
of 75,000 signatures
President Obama, January 2015 marks 13 years of indefinite detention without charge or trial at the U.S. prison at Guantánamo. The National Defense Authorization Act approved by Congress and signed into law by you made it even easier for you to finally keep your promise to close the prison. By easing restrictions on transferring men out of Guantánamo, Congress has done as you’ve asked. Now there is no excuse to fail to close Guantánamo. You can begin by releasing the men your own administration has approved for transfer without delay.
Why is this important?
Along with my colleagues at the Center for Constitutional Rights, I have represented men at Guantánamo for many years. One of my clients is Fahd Ghazy. He is among the remaining Yemeni prisoners who now constitute more than half of Guantánamo's population. He was imprisoned without charge at age 17 and has been cleared for release by both the Bush and Obama administrations. Fahd is now 30 years-old. He has been languishing at Guantánamo for the last 12 years, and suffers the pain of separation from his wife and young daughter only because Obama has lacked the political will to send him home. Obama has not sent a Yemeni man home since 2010, and cannot make real progress towards closing Guantánamo until he does so.
I recently visited Fahd’s family in Yemen. They miss him desperately and long for the day he returns.
President Obama acknowledged that Guantánamo needs to close because in his words it's "inefficient," hurtful to our "international standing," and "should never have been opened" in the first place. Words are not enough.
Congress has now made it easier for Obama to reunite Fahd with his family and to close Guantánamo once and for all. By passing the National Defense Authorization Act (2014 NDAA), which Obama signed into law in December 2013, Congress did as Obama asked and eased legislative restrictions that complicated the Administration's efforts to release detained men and close Guantánamo. Now that Obama has the flexibility he said he needed from Congress, he must act without delay and begin releasing more Yemeni men. Every day in indefinite detention at Guantánamo deepens Fahd's despair.
The men at Guantánamo are now entering their 14th year of indefinite detention, most without charge or trial. Like Fahd, more than half of the men have been cleared for release by the Obama administration itself, with the unanimous consent of the CIA, FBI, Defense, Justice, and State Departments. President Obama must finally fulfill his repeated promise to shut down the detention camps at Guantánamo by releasing all the men he does not intend to try in a fair court.
Please sign my petition to help secure justice – at long last – for Fahd and for the rest of the men at Guantánamo.
It is the responsibility of all people of conscience to urge President Obama to close Guantánamo, now. I hope you will join me to do so.
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joseph s.2015-03-06 10:54:08 -0500
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