January 11th, 2007 : The International Day to Shut Down Guantánamo


On January 11th, 2002, the first prisoners arrived at the American detainment camp of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. January 11th, 2007 marks five years of indefinite detention at Guantánamo. On that day, thousands of people will act together to demand an end to torture and indefinite, illegal and immoral detention of hundreds of men at Guantánamo. Actions are planned in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC, in New York, but also in many countries such as England, Holland, Sweden, Australia, Poland and Hungary.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), along with FIDH’s American member organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and with Witness Against Torture, is calling for January 11th, 2007 to be the International Day to Shut Down Guantánamo.

Five years after the first hooded, shackled men were brought to the U.S. prison at Guantánamo, and subjected to interrogation techniques considered by the International Committee of the Red Cross to be "tantamount to torture," not a single prisoner has been charged, tried or convicted of any crime. Many have been released because no evidence has been found against them. Five years later, despite repetitive calls by the United Nations, the European Union and others to close down Guantánamo, more than 400 men remain in indefinite detention without hope of release. Five years later, thousands will stand up on behalf of the victims of the war on terrorism and on behalf of law and justice.

"The situation at Guantánamo impacts all regions in the world," explained Sidiki Kaba, FIDH President. "It threatens to set a dreadful precedent for a large number of other States encouraged to also legalize the erosion of human rights in the name of the fight against terrorism. It is fundamental that the international community and the civil society worldwide unanimously condemn indefinite detention at Guantánamo and elsewhere."

While supporting all actions that will take place throughout the world on January 11, 2007, we call on the United States government to:

- Charge and try or release all detainees.

- Clearly and unequivocally forbid torture and all other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, by the military, the CIA, prison guards, civilian contractors, or anyone else.

- Pay reparations to current and former detainees and their families for violations of their human rights.

- Shut down Guantánamo, Bagram and all other U.S. prisons overseas, including secret CIA detention facilities.

- Repeal the October 2006 Military Commissions Act and restore the right of habeas corpus (i.e. the possibility to challenge before the courts the legality of one’s detention).

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