Close Guantanamo, Washington D.C., January 2012, a set on Flickr.
In the small hours of this morning, I posted the first set of photos on my new Flickr account, of my wanderings in New York in January, at the start of my two-week US tour to campaign for the closure of Guantánamo on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the prison.
My tour — my fifth visit to the US to call for the closure of Guantánamo, and to publicize the stories of the men held there — was organized by the campaigning group The World Can’t Wait, and in New York and Washington D.C., I spent a lot of time with The World Can’t Wait’s National Director, Debra Sweet, a relentless campaigner for justice, who, very deservedly, recently won an American Humanist Award as a “Humanist Heroine.”
I’m following up on yesterday’s photo set with a second set, featuring the protests in Washington D.C. on January 11, the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, which I discussed here, and for which videos of myself and others talking about the urgent need to close Guantánamo can be found here (at the New America Foundation), here (on RT), here and here (outside the Supreme Court), and here and here (at a screening of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” the documentary film I co-directed with Polly Nash).
Preceded and followed by glorious weather, the actual anniversary, when around a thousand protestors — including many young people — gathered to protest outside the White House, the Justice Department and the Supreme Court, was horribly wet, although we refused to let it dampen our spirits, and we also seized the opportunity to push a message — that over half the 169 prisoners still held (87 in total) have been cleared for release — which has gradually been lodging itself in those parts of the national consciousness that are still open to the truth.
Personally, I have been persistently pushing this message on my website, and on the website of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, which I established on the 10th anniversary with the attorney Tom Wilner, and it recently became particular prominent in the news with the publication of my report, Guantánamo Scandal: The 40 Prisoners Still Held But Cleared for Release At Least Five Years Ago, and the Supreme Court’s refusal to accept appeals submitted by seven prisoners (which I wrote about here and here, and spoke about here and here). This has led to a situation in which all three branches of the US government have now abandoned the Guantánamo prisoners, including the 87 cleared for release, consigning them to indefinite detention — very probably for the rest of their lives.
This, of course, is a profoundly depressing situation, and one that cannot be tolerated by anyone who respects fairness and justice, and recognizes that the men held at Guantánamo are, for the most part, scapegoats in the Bush administration’s brutal and ill-conceived “war on terror,” who are now held hostage by President Obama — innocents framed by the false confessions of their fellow prisoners, or foot soldiers in the almost forgotten Afghan civil war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, but not — with a few exceptions — people involved in acts of international terrorism.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
I would like to know the E-mai of Mamdouh S. Hamad Dow Chemidal U.S.A.
I guess an Internet search is the best bet.
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