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 107 men are still held, even though 48 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, and the detention of 48 prisoners cleared for release, who are held because it is politically inconvenient to release them, is a disgrace. 37 of these men have long been cleared for release by a presidential task force, and 11 others were added to the list of cleared prisoners between January 2014 and October 2015, after undergoing a new review process, the Periodic Review Boards, which began in 2013.
Please read our latest articles -- a detailed article about how Guantánamo can be closed before the end of the Obama Presidency, setting out the position that we'll be taking for the next 14 months, and others, about the latest Periodic Review Board decisions, eroding the category of "forever prisoners" at Guantánamo, and about President Obama vetoing the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016, in part because of restrictions on his ability to release prisoners and close Guantánamo.
Also check out other recent articles: about the Justice Department shamefully seeking to prevent a judge ordering the release of a Yemeni hunger striker who weighs just 75 pounds, and who was told the U.S. no longer wanted to hold him six long years ago, about a Periodic Review Board approving Fayiz al-Kandari, the last Kuwaiti in Guantánamo, for release, and another approving a Saudi for release, while a Yemeni hunger striker had his case reviewed, and others approving Mohammed Kamin, an Afghan, for release, and another Yemeni, Mansoor al-Zahari, who explained to the board how he has turned his life around in Guantánamo.
Please also read about the 14th anniversary of 9/11 and the urgent need for President Obama to renew his efforts to close the prison, and for Ashton Carter to certify prisoners for release, and also read about a recent ruling by a judge that the war in Afghanistan is not over, despite President Obama's repeated assertions that it is, and about District Judge Gladys Kessler's powerful condemnation of government obstruction to her order for the release of videotapes showing the force-feeding of a Guantánamo prisoner.
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. And also check out Andy's article about the latest proposals in Congress to keep Guantánamo open -- or to close it for good.
Please also read our open letter to President Obama and defense secretary Ashton Carter, which we issued with 12 other organizations, calling for the release of the men still held in Guantánamo who have been approved for release but are still held -- 57 at the time, but now 48 after a number of prisoners were released and others were approved for release. And please also read the harrowing story of Tariq Ba Odah, a hunger striker since 2007, who is asking a U.S. judge to order his release because he is at risk of death.
We also recommend a new letter to President Obama from Senators Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin calling for urgent action to release the 48 men still held who have been approved for release, a position strongly endorsed by the "Close Guantánamo" campaign.
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.
On September 25, it was announced that Shaker was to be freed from Guantánamo within a month, and returned to his family in the UK. However, when Shaker's lawyer Clive Stafford Smith subsequently spoke to him by phone, he discovered that Shaker had embarked on a hunger strike, and feared he would not leave Guantánamo alive. As a result, Andy and Joanne MacInnes, the co-directors of We Stand With Shaker, set up Fast For Shaker, which they launched on October 15, encouraging celebrity supporters, MPs and concerned citizens around the world to fast for 24 hours, on a day of their choosing, in solidarity with Shaker. The fasts continued until Shaker was finally released, and returned to his family in the U.K., on October 30.
Please also visit the "GTMO Clock," which we launched in 2013 to count how many days it is since President Obama promised, in a major speech on May 23, 2013, to resume releasing prisoners from Guantánamo, and how many have been freed. The clock reached the 700-day mark on April 22, 2015, and for the second anniversary of the promise we issued an open letter to President Obama and Ashton Carter calling for renewed action. On July 31, we marked 800 days of the Gitmo Clock and renewed calls for prisoners to be released, and we did the same again on November 8, marking 900 days of the clock.
Also, please look at our updated prisoner list, identifying the 107 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."
As President Obama's second and final term in office becomes entrenched, his legacy is being written, and he needs to make good the promise to close Guantánamo that he made six 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.