Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Release Tariq Ba Odah from Guantanamo Bay before he dies from starvation.
Tariq Ba Odah has been held captive in Guantanamo Bay for 13 years and was never charged with a crime. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that all Guantanamo prisoners should be informed why they are being detained so they may refute the charges. To date, Ba Odah has not been charged and the Justice Department has filed opposition to Ba Odah’s Habeas corpus petition for release.
Disputing his captivity, Ba Odah began hunger striking eight years ago. Surprisingly, the detainee remains alive. This is due, in part, to reportedly being force-fed by Guantanamo personnel. Regardless, Ba Odah’s weight has reached a dangerous 75 pounds, and his physical condition is deteriorating. Doctors state that Ba Odah’s weight is “life-threatening” and he must be released or he may die in the prison.
President Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo Bay, but the White House is unwilling to see the promise through. Despite Ba Odah’s health and never being charged with a crime, Congress refuses to release the prisoner, placing the country in a potential and dangerous breach of international law, which states that the U.S. must charge Ba Odah or release him from captivity. There is no doubt that Ba Odah’s civil liberties are being denied at this time.
President Obama issued executive orders in 2009 demanding a status review of all detainees in Guantanamo Bay. Several government agencies were involved in the review and the task force recommended Ba Odah be released upon the conclusion of its investigation. The fact that he remains in custody uncharged is inexcusable.
Demand President Barack Obama release Tariq Ba Odah from Guantanamo Bay. It is a grave injustice and violation of human rights and liberties to allow an uncharged man to die of starvation in prison.
Dear President Obama,
You initiated a task force in 2009 to review the status of all Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Once complete, it was determined that Tariq Ba Odah and several other prisoners should be released from detention. To date, this has not happened and Ba Odah is now at risk of dying in the very prison in which he should not be held captive.
This is a travesty on international levels; it doesn’t just affect the United States. Ba Odah has never been charged, and you were at one time resolute in freeing him. We cannot stand by and allow this situation to escalate any further. We cannot sit by and ignore that Ba Odah’s health has become life threatening. The U.S. must either charge or release Ba Odah, and since charges have never been filed over 13 years, he must be released.
Please stand by your word and release Tariq Ba Odah before he dies in prison.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Federal Government