Today at 10 AM EDT, C-SPAN will broadcast an important briefing on the situation at Guantanamo and how the President can move forward with closing the prison there. We encourage you to watch it. The briefing is hosted by Rep. Jim Moran and is sponsored by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, The Constitution Project, and the New America Foundation.
The situation at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center continues to deteriorate. Eleven years after it first opened, and more than 4 years after President Obama mandated its closure, there are still 166 men being held at Guantanamo – 86 of whom have already been cleared for transfer or release. At the moment 100 of the detainees, responding to a growing sense of hopelessness and despair over their continued detention, in most cases without charge or trial, are engaged in a prolonged hunger strike.
Last week, 38 religious leaders sent a letter to President Obama and to Congress calling for the closing of the detention center. Please add your name to theirs by also signing the letter. The letter states, “As people of faith, we oppose torture and indefinite detention without trial because they are contrary to the inherent dignity of the human person. As the nation’s most visible and painful symbol of torture and indefinite detention, Guantanamo Bay is a constant reminder of a deep moral wound that will heal only when it is permanently closed.”
Help us build support for closing Guantanamo within your community. Here are two ways you can get involved:
Join in the 100th Day Weekend of Action
May 17th will mark the 100th day of the hunger strike. We invite you and your congregation to mark this day with a “100th Day Weekend of Action.” Please find a time during the weekend of May 17-19 to include mention of Guantanamo in your worship service or prayers. We also invite you to hold a prayer vigil, fast in solidarity, or organize educational and advocacy activities in your congregation. To assist you we have prepared a Guantanamo Fact Sheet, Sermon Talking Points and a Bulletin Insert with an Interfaith Prayer. Go to www.nrcat/closegitmo for more information.
Add your name to the religious leaders letter
You can add your voice to the growing chorus demanding that Guantanamo be closed by signing the religious leaders’ letter. Also, please download a petition version of the letter and circulate it in your congregation, campus or community.
If we can help you or you wish to let us know of your plans, please contact Paz Artaza-Regan at 202-547-1920 or by email.
Thank you for lifting up the importance of closing Guantanamo.
Linda Gustitus, President
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director