In response to this article, it is sad to know that justice has not been served to liberate the prisoners who do not deserve to be detained indefinitely and are left to suffer torture and hardship in Guantanamo Bay prison since they have not been charged or have been cleared for release. Their lives matter as much as anyone else, whether they come from Middle East or America or anywhere else. I learnt that one thing we can do is to sign a petition for the US government to effect cleared transfers from Guantanamo and to proceed to close the prison, as mentioned in the website below.
“That is why I am calling on United States Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel to use his authority to effect cleared transfers from Guantanamo and on President Obama to appoint an individual within the Administration to lead the effort to close Guantanamo. Obama announced on April 30 that he plans to do his part to close Guantanamo, but he has made this promise before. Now is the time to hold him to his promise and urge him to take the steps necessary to dismantle Guantanamo Bay Prison.
It is probably no surprise that human rights and activist groups like Amnesty International, the Center For Constitutional Rights, and Witness Against Torture have been outspoken critics of Guantanamo. It may surprise you that a former U.S. military prosecutor and many other retired senior U.S. military officers and members of the intelligence community agree with them.
The humane thing to do here is to Close Guantanamo. Please join us in the fight by signing this petition.”
Guantanamo Bay hunger strike sparks national protests
It is good to know at least Americans are taking up the cause of protesting in Times Square and other places in USA to raise awareness on the hunger strikes in Guantanamo, so that more people can urge the government to close the detention centre. Some articles note that the longer the government prolongs this decision, the more outrage may arise over the injustice, which may indirectly spark more potential terrorism in future, whereas releasing the detainees is less risky since they can still be monitored. Besides, 86 of them have been cleared for release, so they have every right to be set free, which is in line with international laws.
“But even if another outrage were to happen, the evil of “Gitmo” has recruited far more people to terrorism than a mere 166. Mr Obama should think about America’s founding principles, take out his pen and end this stain on its history.”
I have checked out the video update, and like what the representative of the Centre of Constitutional Rights said, while it is good that the US president has said he is for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention centre because it is unjust and unsustainable, she felt that action needed to be carried out as soon as possible, and it was within the president’s power to veto the congress’ reluctance and to appoint people who have the backing and authority to be in charge of closing the detention centre. And yes, the priority is to first set the 86 detainees who have been cleared free to go back to their home countries where their families are waiting for them.
In view of the apparent lack of action from the US government so far, it seems the main way for the freedom of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners to materialise is for the rest of us is to continue supporting the cause for the freedom of the prisoners in whatever ways we can. I have googled about this issue earlier today, and it seems there are no major updates on the government’s part so far, except for some supporters’ blogs such as this one.
“According to the ACLU, there are two essential steps the president can take. One is to appoint a senior point person so that the administration’s Guantanamo closure policy is directed by the White House and not by Pentagon bureaucrats. The president can also order the secretary of defense to start certifying for transfer detainees who have been cleared, which is more than half the Guantanamo population.”
- Why I Am on a Hunger Strike to Shut Down Guantanamo Bay Prison (dissidentvoice.org)
- The top five myths about Guantánamo Bay (secretsofthefed.com)
- Must Read: Slate’s Guantanamo Bay prisoner memoir (blogs.suntimes.com)
- Guantanamo Bay Hunger Strike: What Can Obama Do With the Detainees?