Emergency Call To Fast For Tariq – Sept 18
Greetings to everyone! Thank you to all of you who have fasted with WAT in the past, and for those of you taking part in our weekly Fast for Justice. Those of you who have fasted know the value of this ancient spiritual practice. Fasting not only creates a hunger and want for food in us, but is also an act of moving into solidarity with those who suffer from physical hunger and those who hunger for justice at Guantánamo and elsewhere.
This past January 11th in Washington, DC on the thirteenth anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo, WAT member Jeremy Varon said,
In 2013, inspired by the mass hunger strike in Guantánamo, tens of thousands of prisoners in California and other states went on hunger strike to protest solitary confinement. This brave act, in turn, inspired anti- Guantánamo activists to engage in solidarity hunger fasts lasting as long as 100 days. News of this solidarity made it through lawyers to the hunger strikers at Guantánamo, whose expression of thanks caused us to push harder. Here we have global solidarity, not only among prisoner advocates, but among imprisoned human beings themselves. Let us dwell also on the awesome power of this fact, and the world-changing potential it has.
Keeping in mind the powerful witness fasting can be, Witness Against Torture is once again putting out an emergency call to action and solidarity fast this Friday, September 18, 2015 in support of the Center for Constitutional Rights’ efforts on behalf of Yemeni prisoner, Tariq Ba Odah. I hope you will consider joining us.
I am grateful to you all for your steadfastness to the work of closing Guantánamo and ending torture and indefinite detention.
With much gratitude
–Marie, Chrissy and Beth, for WAT
Fast for Tariq and the Hunger Strikers — Fast for Justice
Witness Against Torture is calling for an emergency fast to highlight the case of Guantánamo prisoner, Tariq Ba Odah, a Yemeni man who has been detained at the prison without charge since 2002 and cleared for release in 2009. According to his attorneys, Tariq, who at 74 pounds—56% of his ideal body weight– is gravely ill and on the “precipice of death” according to three health officials. Please consider fasting on Friday, September 18, 2015 in solidarity with Tariq Ba Odah and the remaining 115 Guantánamo prisoners.
If you plan to fast, send an email to email@example.com. Please include in the email where you live and a brief statement as to why you are fasting. If you cannot fast on Friday, feel free to choose another day this week to fast. Witness Against Torture will report the numbers of those fasting and convey, through attorneys, your messages to Tariq and others at Guantánamo.
Please make THREE phone calls to:
- Department of Justice (202-353-1555) to urge the DOJ not to stand in the way of Tariq’s rquest to the court for release on humanitarian grounds and effors by other low-risk inmates at Guantánamo who are actively seeking their release through habeas corpus petitions.
- U.S. Southern Command (305-437-1213) to decry the conditions at Guantánamo, especially the force feeding of Tariq Ba Odah, and others.
- 202-456-1111 or tweeting @BarackObama to urge him to advise the Department of Justice to stand down in Tariq Ba Odah’s case and pave the way for his immediate release. Additionally, President Obama and his administration the need to use its existing authority to work more quickly to shut the doors and empty the cells of the prison.
Example script: I am fasting for 24 hours in solidarity with the prisoners at Guantánamo, especially for those who are on hunger strike and being force-fed. I am particularly mindful today of Tariq Ba Odah, a prisoner who is being represented by attorneys at the Center for Constitutional Rights. He has been held without charge since 2002, and cleared for release since 2009. His attorneys are asking for his immediate release as he, at 74 pounds, is gravely ill according to at least three medical experts. I am calling today out of concern for him and for the rest of the prisoners, who remain unjustly detained. I am asking that your office help facilitate the release of Tariq Ba Odah, to ed the inhumane practice of force feeding, and the immediate release of the remaining prisoners at Guantánamo, especially those cleared for release.
- Tariq Ba Odah in his own words – video
- The Center for Constitutional Rights’ Timeline of Tariq’s case
- The most recent press release from CCR concerning Tariq’s case
- Omar Farah Attorney for detainee, Tariq Ba Odah – video
- Editorial in the NY Times calling for Tariq’s release
- Article in Rolling Stone on Tariq’s eight year hunger strike