Roundup: Guantánamo, birthdays on death row and a question…
By Matthew Leidecker, Head of Campaigns
First, a thank you to everyone who donated recently to support our Guantánamo work. There’s a lot to do in these challenging times, and we’re getting on with it.
It may surprise many to know that until now, America’s official policy was to close Guantánamo. Trump has now officially abandoned that idea, meaning that we have had to redouble our efforts.
On the legal front, our senior staff attorney Shelby Sullivan-Bennis has been on the ground in Guantánamo for legal visits with our clients, none of whom have ever been charged with a crime. We’ve also filed a complaint against the US torture and rendition programme to the International Criminal Court.
This week, as ordered by the US courts after our legal action, Trump has to explain how keeping prisoners forever in Guantánamo fits with the Constitution – a document that has the word justice in the very first line.
On the campaigns front, we think it’s time for foreign governments to renew their opposition to Guantánamo. Trump is no lone wolf – he cares what others think.
And on the policy front, a question – does the UK Government kill anyone it wants anywhere in the world?
America’s drone programme has left hundreds of innocent people dead, including children. It looks like our government could be heading the same way, but mention of the MOD’s ‘practice’ of targeting people outside warzones was quietly removed from official documents after an MP asked for further clarity.
And finally, two birthdays on death row last week – Dawood al-Marhoon, who was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia after being arrested at 17 for the ‘crime’ of attending an anti-government protest. And Andy Tsege a father of three from London and prominent critic of the Ethiopian regime – he was sentenced to death and kidnapped in a brutal crackdown on political opponents and activists.
Happy birthday Dawood and Andy – we are thinking of you and won’t stop fighting for you.
More to come…