Witness Against Torture

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I have no doubt that the good American people will realize that holding innocent people in prison is not the way to go and will work for their release until every last innocent detainee has joined his family. I wholeheartedly forgive everyone who wronged me during my detention and

I forgive because forgiveness is my inexhaustible resource.

~Mohamedou Ould Slahi, released without charge from Guantanamo after 14 years on October 17, 2016

                                                                                                              

November 2016

Dear Friends,

This time of year usually means the beauty of fall and anticipation of the holiday season.  But with the crushing election result, we now feel pain, confusion, and new worry for the future.

President Obama has failed miserably in his day one promise to close Guantanamo.  Because of the efforts of groups like Witness Against Torture, the number of prisoners has at least been reduced, and the worst torture programs have been banned.  Donald Trump wants to bring torture back and to keep Guantanamo open.  Now, more than ever, we need your help to build a nation without torture, indefinite detention, Islamophobia, and racism.  Please consider a donation to help fund our annual, January protests in Washington D.C. demanding the closing of Guantanamo and an end to all forms of U.S. torture.

This January will be our last chance to demand that President Obama fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo — before his terrible successor comes into office.

We have included our “save the date” for this January.  We  hope you can join us from January 3 -12th.  We hope also that you can contribute financial resources to help fund our time in Washington.

We are asking for your donation to help fund this work. (checks can be made out to “Witness Against Torture” or if you want your donation to be tax deductable you can make it out to “Washington Peace Center” with “Witness Against Torture” in the memo line). You can also make a donation online at our website. All donations go directly to funding the work we do as a community.

At Thanksgiving last year, fourteen WAT members were in Guantánamo, Cuba, demanding an end to torture and indefinite detention. It is hard to believe that only 47 men have been released from Guantanamo since then. It is too few.

60 men remain detained at the infamous prison.  Last January, we gathered in front of the White House and shared stories of home, asking President Obama to release the men immediately. This Fall, as we prepare to spend two weeks in January fasting in community and taking action in the streets of Washington, DC, 20 men are cleared for transfer and 30 are held without charge.

In July in Cleveland, we came together to counter the hateful propaganda of the Republican National Convention and asked people to choose the loving side of history. In October, WAT members, including the Peace Poets, joined  the School of the Americas Watch on the US-Mexico border for a weekend of powerful direct action, workshops, music and art.

In the coming year, Republicans will have control of all 3 branches of government.  Republican leaders have already publicly stated that “the only problem with Gitmo is too many empty beds.”   The future of the 20 men cleared for transfer and the 30 men still being held without charge rests with groups like Witness Against Torture, our allies, and supporters like you.

In January we were inspired by the words of Fahd Ghazy, imprisoned without charge for 13 years. He stated, “Now that you know, you cannot turn away.”  We will not turn away. Thank you for supporting our efforts and making a donation for us to continue our work today.

With sincere appreciation,

The Organizing Team of Witness Against Torture

Helen, Paula, Maha, Jerica, Josie, Marie, Jeremy, Luke, Matt, Chris, Justin and Mike.

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