Protesters and Politicians worldwide back call for Guantanamo closure
Protestors take to streets around the world
On the sixth ‘anniversary’ of the first prisoners being taken to the US prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, over 1,200 parliamentarians from around the world - including 250 from the UK – backed Amnesty International’s call for the camp to close in a new ‘Action Plan’ delivered to the White House in Washington today.
Amnesty International demonstrations took place around the world against Guantánamo Bay to mark today’s anniversary.
Earlier today in London over 200 people protested outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square wearing Guantánamo-style orange boiler suits. The London Amnesty protestors had braved heavy rain to stage an all-night vigil in a replica Guantánamo cell ahead of today’s demonstration. Similar protests were held in Edinburgh and Belfast, as well as Washington, Tokyo, Manila, Sydney and Stockholm.
Amnesty International’s Action Plan consists of 13 recommendations to end illegal detentions in the ‘war on terror’ without compromising the US government’s ability to combat terrorism. It gives the US authorities the practical suggestions that the US administration has itself requested to help close Guantánamo.
Amongst other things, the Action Plan calls for restoration of habeas corpus, an end to secret detention and for any detainees to be charged and tried in independent and impartial courts if they are not to be released. It stresses that lawful and safe solutions must be found for those who are freed.
Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan said:
“The illegal practices adopted by the US government in its ‘war on terror’ - exemplified by Guantánamo and the CIA programme of secret detention - have promoted the dangerous notion that fundamental human rights can be set aside in the name of national security.
“Arbitrary and secret detentions breed resentment and threaten rather than promote security.”
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