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Hearing on Guantanamo on Day 168 of Hunger Strike

If You Are in DC Today: First Congressional Hearing on Guantanamo Since 2009

Today is day 168 of the Guantanamo Hunger Strike, and 62 days since President Obama’s second promise to close Guantanamo.

We are on our way to Washington, DC for a Senate Hearing on Closing the Prison at Guantanamo.  If you are in or near DC, join us (information below).  We will be gathering outside the Hart Building from 12-1 for a vigil, and then attending the hearing – holding photos with faces of the men who remain in Guantanamo as the politicians continue to debate something that is now beyond debate.

As our friends at the Center for Constitutional Rights have pointed out: 

“The choice is now with the administration. It can respond by resuming transfers, implementing concrete steps toward closing the notorious prison, and improving conditions at the base, or it can let this moment pass, let the status quo continue, and send the message that Guantanamo is indeed who we are.”

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for Witness Against Torture


Hearing will be the First on this Issue Since 2009

Washington, D.C. – Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) will chair a hearing to examine the national security, fiscal and human rights implications of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The hearing will be the first on this issue since 2009 and comes two months after President Obama’s May 23rd national security speech, in which he announced new steps towards the closure of Guantanamo.

The hearing will be held before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights TOMORROW, July 24th at 2:00pm in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

The following witnesses will testify on two panels – Panel I: The Honorable Adam Smith United States Representative (D-WA-9); The Honorable Mike Pompeo United States Representative (R-KS-4). Panel II: Major General Paul D. Eaton, United States Army (Ret.); Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis, M.D., United States Army (Ret.); Lieutenant Joshua M. Fryday, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, United States Navy; Frank Gaffney, Founder and CEO, Center for Security Policy; and Elisa Massimino, President and Chief Executive Officer, Human Rights First.

“The President has called for the closing of the Guantanamo detention facility and many in Congress support him,” Durbin said. “But Congress and the Administration have been complicit in the current situation which harms our national security and leaves more than 150 detainees in limbo. We need to address the future of the prison swiftly and decisively. This hearing will be the first step toward putting this dark period behind us once and for all.”

The hearing will address the concerns that surround the continued indefinite detention of the 166 remaining detainees at the facility, including the 86 detainees who have been cleared for transfer. Senators will also explore how the continued operation of Guantanamo Bay undermines the moral authority of the United States in the international community and undercuts fundamental values of the American justice system, including due process and the rule of law.

Who:                     Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL)

What:                   Hearing – Closing Guantanamo: The National Security, Fiscal, and Human Rights Implications

When:                  TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 242013, 2:00pm ET

Where:                 Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building , Washington, D.C.

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