The Viatorian Provincial Council signed a letter crafted by the Center for Victims of Torture, along with 100 other organizations, in calling on President Biden to close the Guantanamo Detention Center in advance of its 22nd anniversary.
Together with the Viatorians this diverse group of US-based and international non-governmental organizations work on a range of issues including international human rights, immigrants’ rights, racial justice, and combatting anti-Muslim discrimination, in urging the closing of the facility.
Here is a portion of the letter:
“The Guantánamo detention center – created exclusively to detain Muslim men and boys – was designed specifically to evade legal constraints. It enabled the Bush administration to torture and abuse those held there, and to hide the fact that it tortured and abused men held elsewhere before being sent to Guantánamo. Nearly eight hundred men and boys were detained at Guantánamo after 2002, all but a handful without any charges against them and none with access to a fair trial. Thirty men remain today. Of those, sixteen have been cleared for transfer out – by unanimous agreement of all executive branch agencies with a significant national security function – but they continue to languish in Guantánamo. At the astronomical cost of over $500 million per year, it is the most expensive prison in the world. Guantánamo continues to be a site and symbol of Islamophobia, torture, and impunity.
“Closing Guantánamo, 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—and to combatting dehumanizing and Islamophobic narratives.”