Guantanamo advocacy: materials and events

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A Briefing at the National Press Club on January 11, 2010, the Eighth Anniversary of Guantánamo

View the press release from the event.

On Monday, January 11, 2010, the Center for Constitutional Rights held a public briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. with activists and human rights attorneys to mark the beginning of the ninth year of detention without charge or trial at Guantánamo following a rally and march that morning. The briefing, titled “Obama’s Guantánamo,” addressed issues including the continued and worsening lack of transparency, resettlement for men who cannot return to their home countries, the threat of indefinite detention schemes in the U.S., the halt of transfers to Yemen and related responses to the recent terrorism attempt, and more.

Lakhdar Boumediene

Lakhdar Boumediene called in to the briefing from his home in France, and Omar Deghayes joined the briefing from his home in the United Kingdom. Mr. Boumediene was the lead plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case of 2008, Boumediene v. Bush brought by CCR and co-counsel , in which the Court affirmed that Guantànamo detainees have the right to file writs of habeas corpus in U.S. federal courts. He was released on May 15, 2009. As a child, Omar Deghayes settled with his family in the U.K. as a refugee from Lybia. Picked up in Pakistan and sent to Bagram and Guantánamo, he was blinded in one eye at the base in 2004. Mr. Deghayes was released from Guantanamo to the U.K. on December 19, 2007.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) briefing also featured a recorded statement from Mohammed Sulaymon Barre from his home in Somaliland and other detainee voices addressing the president. Said Mr. Barre, who was released on December 20, 2009, “Hurry up and close this prison that has become a blot of shame upon all of America. Do it fast. Do it quickly.”

Vincent Warren, CCR Executive Director, Pardiss Kebriaei, CCR attorney for detainees, Frida Berrigan of Witness Against Torture, and Stacy Sullivan, Counterterrorism Advisor at Human Rights Watch spoke about the current situation and the challenges and dangers ahead.