Target: Barack Obama, President of the United States
Goal: Praise transfer of Guantanamo Bay inmates imprisoned since 2002
Six men have been released from Guantanamo Bay offshore prison. The six have been held at the facility since 2002 without being charged with or tried for any crimes. All six of the men had been cleared for release by the Pentagon, which deemed the men no threat to United States national security years ago. This has been the largest number of inmates transferred out of the notorious prison since 2009.
The six men have been transferred to Uruguay, through a partnership between Presidents Barack Obama and Jose Mujica. The Uruguayan president publicly offered to help repatriate inmates from the prison, which Obama promised to close during the 2008 election. According to the deal, the men will be given refugee status in Uruguay due to instability in their home countries.
Conditions in Guantanamo Bay have been decried by various human rights and aid organizations including Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders. Extended periods of solitary confinement, degrading treatment, and torturous practices such as force-feeding are common in the prison, and have caused long-term mental and physical disability to inmates.
There remains 136 prisoners housed in Guantanamo Bay, 67 of which have been cleared for release. In 2014, only 19 prisoners on the wait list were released. At this pace, it will take almost a decade to close the prison.
Now that they have been released from prison, the six men can enjoy their freedom after twelve years of unfair incarceration. Sign the petition below to applaud the release of these six prisoners, and demand that President Obama renew his efforts to close the prison, as promised.
Dear President Barack Obama,
Six men from Guantanamo Bay have been transferred to Uruguay, where President Jose Mujica has given them refugee status. The men have been incarcerated since 2002 and were cleared for release in 2009, when the Pentagon decided they were of no threat to national security. So far in 2014, 19 inmates have been transferred out of the prison.
While imprisoned, the men endured various human rights violations including extended solitary confinement, degrading treatment, and even torture. Several human rights organizations have criticized the facility’s unconstitutional detention of prisoners without charge or due process.
With their new-found freedom, these prisoners can now begin to set 12 long years of unfair incarceration behind them and begin the rehabilitation process. We, the undersigned, applaud the release of six Guantanamo Bay inmates, and ask that you work faster to keep your promise of closing the offshore prison.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kathleen T. Rhem via Creative Commons