The Supreme Court just ruled to block military tribunals for detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In light of this decision, now is the time for President Bush to close the doors to Guantanamo for good!
Detaining persons without cause, denying due process in a court of law, and ignoring worldwide concerns about the inhumane treatment of detainees are rooted in values which run counter to the basic teachings of nearly every religion and spiritual practice and are acts one should never expect at any institution under US jurisdiction.
The closing of the Guantanamo Prison would follow not only the ruling of our highest court, but also the recent tragic suicides of three detainees and the many admonitions by leaders around the world.
Urge President Bush to close this inhumane facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba once and for all!
I join with the National Council of Churches and people of faith and conscience everywhere to urgently call for the United States to close its Guantanamo Bay detention facility without delay.
It has been nearly five months since the United Nations Commission on Human Rights called upon the U.S. to close Guantanamo, to refrain from any practice amounting to torture, and either bring detainees to trial or release them.
Since the UN statement was issued, the Supreme Court of the United States has also ruled against military tribunals of detainees, 3 detainees have committed suicide and 75 have staged hunger strikes to protest conditions in the jail. Amnesty International has described the facilities as "a legal black hole" where detainees are denied access to any court, legal counsel or family visits. "Denied their rights under international law and held in conditions which may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment," Amnesty reports, "the detainees face severe psychological distress."
Americans who love their country and its historic ideals are mortified by this continuing blot on our honor, on our steadfast defense of freedom, and on our commitment to democracy and the rule of law. We appeal again to the President and to the Secretary of State: bring this cruel and humiliating chapter to an end. Close the Guantanamo Bay facility immediately.