Rehumanize International was among 159 organizations that signed onto a letter sent to President Biden urging him to prioritize closing Guantánamo and ending indefinite detention. January 11, 2023, the 21st anniversary of the prison's opening, These diverse organizations work, in both the United States and other countries, on issues including international human rights, immigrants’ rights, racial justice, and combatting anti-Muslim discrimination.
The full text of the letter, along with the names of the signing organizations can be found below.
Dear President Biden:
We are a diverse group of non-governmental organizations working, in both the United States and other countries, on issues including international human rights, immigrants’ rights, racial justice, and combatting anti-Muslim discrimination. We write to urge you to prioritize closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and ending indefinite military detention.
Among a broad range of human rights violations perpetrated against predominantly Muslim communities over the last two decades, the Guantánamo detention facility – built on the same military base where the United States unconstitutionally detained Haitian refugees in deplorable conditions in the early 1990s – is the iconic example of the abandonment of the rule of law. The Guantánamo detention facility was designed specifically to evade legal constraints, and Bush administration officials incubated torture there.
Nearly eight hundred Muslim men and boys were held at Guantánamo after 2002, all but a handful without charge or trial. Thirty-five remain there today, at the astronomical cost of $540 million per year, making Guantánamo the most expensive detention facility in the world. Guantánamo embodies the fact that the United States government has long viewed communities of color – citizens and non-citizens alike – as a security threat, to devastating consequences.
This is not a problem of the past. Guantánamo continues to cause escalating and profound damage to the aging and increasingly ill men still detained indefinitely there, most without charge and none having received a fair trial. It has also devastated their families and communities. The approach Guantánamo exemplifies continues to fuel and justify bigotry, stereotyping, and stigma. Guantánamo entrenches racial divisions and racism more broadly, and risks facilitating additional rights violations.
It is long past time for both a sea change in the United States’ approach to national and human security, and a meaningful reckoning with the full scope of damage that the post-9/11 approach has caused. Closing the Guantánamo detention facility, ending indefinite military detention of those held there, and never again using the military base for unlawful mass detention of any group of people are necessary steps towards those ends. We urge you to act without delay, and in a just manner that considers the harm done to the men who have been detained indefinitely without charge or fair trials for two decades.
About Face: Veterans Against the War Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT), Belgium ACAT, Benin ACAT, Canada ACAT, Chad ACAT, Côte d'Ivoire ACAT, Democratic Republic of the Congo ACAT, France ACAT, Germany ACAT, Ghana ACAT, Italy ACAT, Liberia ACAT, Luxembourg ACAT, Mali ACAT, Niger ACAT, Senegal ACAT, Spain ACAT, Switzerland ACAT, Togo ACAT, UK Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) Adalah Justice Project Afghans For A Better Tomorrow African Communities Together African Human Rights Coalition Alliance of Baptists American Civil Liberties Union American Friends Service Committee American Humanist Association American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) Amnesty International USA Assange Defense Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) Birmingham Islamic Society Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) Brooklyn For Peace CAGE Campaign for Peace, Disarmament, Common Security Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia Center for Constitutional Rights Center for Gender & Refugee Studies Center for Victims of Torture Center on Conscience and War Centre for the Prevention of Violence and the Healing of Memories, Burkina Faso Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy Close Guantanamo Coalition for Civil Freedoms CODEPINK Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center Defending Rights & Dissent Demand Progress Education Fund Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC) Detention Watch Network Father Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House Federal Association of Vietnamese Refugees in the Federal Republic of Germany Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR-USA) Foreign Policy for America Franciscan Action Network Friends Committee on National Legislation Friends of Human Rights Friends of Matènwa Haitian Bridge Alliance Healing and Recovery after Trauma Healing of Memories Global Network Healing of Memories Luxembourg Houston Peace and Justice Center Human Rights First Human Rights Initiative of North Texas ICNA Council for Social Justice Immigrant Defenders Law Center Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity International Federation for Humans Rights (FIDH) International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT) International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) InterReligious Task Force on Central America Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Islamophobia Studies Center Jewish Voice for Peace, Los Angeles Libyan American Alliance Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church Chicago LittleSis / Public Accountability Initiative MADRE Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns Massachusetts Peace Action Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) Military Families Speak Out MPower Change Muslim Advocates Muslim Counterpublics Lab Muslim Justice League Muslim Solidarity Committee, Albany NY Muslims for Justice Futures National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund National Council of Churches National Immigrant Justice Center National Immigration Law Center National Immigration Project (NIPNLG) National Lawyers Guild National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) National Religious Campaign Against Torture No More Guantanamos No Separate Justice NorCal Resist North Carolina Stop Torture Now Orange County Peace Coalition Out Against War Oxfam America Parallax Perspectives Pasadena/Foothill ACLU Chapter Pax Christi New York Pax Christi Southern California Peace Action Peace Action New York State Peacemakers of Schoharie County PeaceWorks Kansas City Physicians for Human Rights Poligon Education Fund Project SALAM (Support And Legal Advocacy for Muslims) Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator Quixote Center Refugee Council USA Rehumanize International Reprieve US Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows South Asian Network Southwest Asylum & Migration Institute St Camillus/ Pax Christi Los Angeles Tahirih Justice Center Tea Project The Advocates for Human Rights The Episcopal Church The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society UndocuBlack United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries United for Peace and Justice Upper Hudson Peace Action US Campaign for Palestinian Rights USC Law International Human Rights Clinic VECINA Veterans For Peace Veterans for Peace Chapter 110 Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) Win Without War Witness Against Torture Witness at the Border Women Against War Women for Genuine Security World BEYOND War World Can't Wait World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Yemeni Alliance Committee