Monday January 11 was the 14th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and the start of its 15th year of operations. This is an anniversary that should never have come to pass, and 2016 must be the year that the prison is finally closed for good.
Please join us in calling for the closure of the prison by the end of the Obama presidency by taking part in the "Countdown to Close Guantánamo." Print off the poster, marking 350 days until the end of the Obama presidency on Feb. 4, take a photo holding it, send it to us, and we'll put it up here, and on our social media pages (see Facebook and Twitter), with photos of our celebrity supporters. You can also send us a message for President Obama to accompany your photo, if you wish, and you can also let us know where you are (village/town/city and country) if you want. See the launch article for a list of what we are demanding from President Obama so that he can finally fulfill his promise to close Guantánamo, and for a follow-up see our article promoting the "350 days" poster. The next stage of the campaign, marking 300 days until the end of the Obama presidency, will be on Mar. 25.
See the video below of Roger Waters (ex-Pink Floyd) and "Close Guantánamo" co-founder, the journalist Andy Worthington, announcing the launch of the "Countdown to Close Guantánamo" on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.
Roger and Andy also spoke about the "We Stand With Shaker" campaign that Andy co-founded in 2014 with the activist Joanne MacInnes, which Roger also supported. The campaign aimed to secure the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, who was freed in October.
Please also see the Celebrity Photos page for photos of our first celebrity supporters, including Roger and the musician and producer Brian Eno, and former Guantánamo prisoners including Shaker Aamer (shown above outside the U.S. Embassy, in a photo by Stefano Massimo). Others will be following soon! Also see the Public Photos page for photos and messages to President Obama from concerned members of the public from the U.S. and around the world. As of Feb. 4, we are delighted to note that there are over 120 photos from supporters of the campaign.
On January 11, "Close Guantánamo" co-founders, the lawyer Tom Wilner and Andy Worthington (photographed above with the academic Karen Greenberg and moderator Peter Bergen), discussed how Guantánamo can be closed at New America in Washington, D.C. You can watch the video here, and please also watch the video below of Andy calling on President Obama to fulfill his promise to close the prison outside the White House, at the annual protest involving over a dozen rights groups including "Close Guantánamo."
We are a group of lawyers, journalists, retired military personnel and concerned citizens seeking to close the "war on terror" prison at Guantánamo Bay, where 91 men are still held, even though 34 of them have been cleared for release.
The prison at Guantánamo Bay is an abominable experiment in indefinite detention, which poisons America's claim to be a nation that believes in justice. Of the 34 men still held but approved for release, 24 have been waiting to be freed for six years, which is unforgiveable, just ten are facing or have faced trials, and 44 others are awaiting (or awaiting the results of) Periodic Review Boards, a process established in 2013 to review the cases of all the prisoners not already approved for release or facing trials. These men, disgracefully, were described as "too dangerous to release" by the task force that reviewed their cases, even though it was acknowledged that insufficient evidence existed to put them on trial; in other words, it was not evidence at all, but profoundly unreliable information derived thorough the use of torture, abuse and the bribery of other prisoners.
Please visit our project launched at the end of 2015 -- the first detailed annotated list of all the men facing Periodic Review Boards, and please read our article introducing the list. And check out our latest article about the PRBs, as two more men were approved for release, and two others sought their freedom.
Also, please look at our updated prisoner list, identifying the 91 men still held, and incorporating the decisions about whether they should be freed, tried or held indefinitely. These decisions were made by the Guantánamo Review Task Force in 2010, but were only made public in June 2013, as discussed in our article, "The Guantánamo Review Task Force's Decisions on Who to Release, Who to Try and Who to Hold Indefinitely Are Finally Released."
Please also read "Close Guantánamo" co-founders Tom Wilner and Andy Worthington's op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, "Dispelling the myths of Guantánamo Bay," and Andy's article promoting it, which provides further information about the false recidivism claims relied upon by lawmakers like Sen. Tom Cotton.
To ask President Obama to continue releasing prisoners from Guantánamo, call the White House on 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 or submit a comment online.
You can also call the Department of Defense and ask Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to issue certifications for other cleared prisoners, as required by law: 703-571-3343.
As President Obama's second and final term in office reaches its final year, and his legacy is being written, he needs to make good the promise to close Guantánamo that he made seven years ago, on his second day in office in January 2009. While the prison remains open, it continues to undermine America's values and national security.
Join us now to help end this injustice and restore the rule of law. We call on President Obama to honor the principled and pragmatic commitment he made to close Guantánamo. Your voice matters.
Thank you for your commitment and support, and thank you for your interest in bringing this dark chapter in modern U.S. history to an end. Please see our mission statement for a more detailed analysis of why Guantánamo must be closed, and to see the list of prominent individuals and organizations who have signed it.