We’ve been hearing about the horrors of Guantanamo Bay for 20 years now. It’s difficult to learn so much about a horrific reality for our Muslim brothers that keeps dragging on without an end in sight. So CAGE and MuslimMatters have joined efforts this Dhul Hijjah to bring you some action items you can easily do. Muslims are asked to learn and then act on that knowledge – so put your knowledge of this situation into action. Many of these action items will only take a few minutes.
Join MuslimMatters and CAGE this Dhul Hijjah for its first ever Dhul Hijjah Global Activism Drive. This year’s drive, Close Guantanamo, is an initiative to harness the political power of the Muslim ummah during a very sacred time of year. Guantanamo Bay is more than just a symbol, it is our obligation towards the oppressed and to our own selves.
2 Action Items
How should you take action? The two actions that may be the most impactful are:
- Signing a petition to help release a prisoner suspected to have cancer.
- Asking people in positions of power to become signatories in the 8-Point Plan to Close Guantanamo. Check out the sample letter you can send.
Other than these two actions, there are more action items you can find within three action plans. You can choose from the following action plans: bronze, silver, and gold! Check out the details later in this post.
Letter Template To Send For The Close Guantanamo Activism Drive
Dear REP NAME,
As you may already be aware, this year marks 20 years since the opening of the infamous Guantanamo Bay military prison. Its harrowing legacy of injustice and abuse includes the imprisonment of 779 detainees; of whom 9 have died and 37 still remain within its walls. In the two decades, only 12 men have ever been charged and 2 actually been convicted. Additionally, the fact that all prisoners have been Muslim men is a clear reflection of the Islamophobic politics at the heart of Guantanamo, and the “War On Terror” it claims to serve. It has also become evident that the vast majority of its inmates have been unjustly held, causing undue trauma to them and their families.
There is a complete lack of due process for Guantanamo prisoners, with attempts to block legal recourse and waive legal rights for prisoners. The damning 2014 US Senate report on CIA torture techniques brought to light the degrading and inhuman torture prisoners were been subjected to. The denial of rights for some should be treated as a threat to rights for others if we do not work to protect fair trials for all, rejecting the existence of secretive offshore detention that facilitates the conditions experienced by Guantanamo prisoners.
We are therefore calling on you to commit to closing Guantanamo and reaffirm the right to due process and human rights that have been repeatedly denied to those inside.
In response, seven former Guantanamo prisoners have produced an 8-point plan to close Guantanamo, as detailed below:
- All those cleared for release are immediately repatriated to their home countries, as long as they are safe from arbitrary imprisonment and persecution.
- The office for the special envoy is reopened and suitable countries are sought to restart the resettlement process for those unable to return to their homes.
- Appropriate measures are taken to ensure that former prisoners are granted the means to start a meaningful life in the new country and are afforded protections from violations of those measures by the receiving state.
- The concept of “forever prisoners” is rescinded, and those not facing charges under the military commissions are repatriated or resettled (as above) following appropriate security arrangements.
- Repatriation/resettlement should not take place by force, and prisoners are not resettled where they will face arbitrary imprisonment once again.
- Periodic Review Board reports should be superseded by the imperative to close Guantanamo and not obstruct the above measures.
- The military commissions should be scrapped, and those facing charges should have their cases tried in accordance with the law.
- Where appropriate and practicable, mechanisms are put in place whereby those convicted of crimes can serve their sentences closer to home.
We call on you to commit to the campaign to close Guantanamo Bay as a signatory to this 8-point plan. You can endorse the plan here: https://www.closingguantanamotogether.com/8-point-plan
More Action Items: Bronze, Silver, and Gold Action Plans
Commit to any of the action plans listed below.
– Bronze Action Plan
- Sign this petition to Free Muhammad Rahim: Innocent Afghan with Suspected Cancer in Guantanamo.
- Contact a local government representative, no matter where you live, and ask them to support the closing of Guantanamo once and for all. Find a sample letter you can send here.
– Silver Action Plan
- Show your support for Close Guantanamo and help spread the word through social outreach.
- Change your social media photos for the Action Drive. Brows images you can use at the bottom of this article.
- Join us on Close Guantanamo Day of Action (July 22nd) to get #CloseGauntanamo trending on Twitter. Tweet about Guantanamo with tweets of your own or with the following drafted tweets located here. If you keep an eye out on the MuslimMatters’ Twitter, you can also find the drafted tweets there.
- Donate to CAGE! You can use our MuslimMatters exclusive link so that we can track how much our readers have contributed this Dhul Hijjah!
– Gold Action Plan
- Host a khutbah at your masjid on the International Close Guantanamo Day of Action, July 22nd. Find the khutbah guide here!
- Reach out to your elected officials, veterans, religious leaders, and celebrities/high profile personalities to sign onto the 8 Point Plan to Close Guantanamo. This plan was drafted by Guantanamo detainees. Find a sample letter you can send here.
Facts About Guantanamo
Source: Muslim Matters