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Police Brutality Against CODEPINK at White House Close Guantanamo

Above photo by Allie McCracken who  police threatened to arrest for taking picture of Medea Benjamin’s arrest.

Police “violently threw” CODEPINK’s co-founder Medea Benjamin to the ground in front of the White House at a rally demanding President Barack Obama to close Guantanamo Bay Prison.

CODEPINK  joined forces with Witness Against Torture other human rights groups to protest in front of the White House the ongoing torture executed at Guantanamo Bay Prison by the Commander in Chief, Barack Obama.

The protest is in observance of the 26 June UN-designated International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Also at the rally in front of the White House, human rights defender Diane Wilson, who has been among people fasting with the Guantanamo Bay detainees during their hunger strike, has just been arrested there, according to on-the-scene witnesses.

The protesters have said that they are in accord with over 150 medical doctors who recently called on Obama in an open letter to close the notorious detention center where torture has increased since the detainees began a peaceful hunger strike.

The open letter to Obama is as follows:

Open letter to President Obama on hunger strikers in Guantanamo

Frank ArnoldVincent IacopinoScott AllenHernán ReyesIain Chalmers, on behalf of 148 other signatories

We write to you as doctors and other health professionals to request that you attend to the open letter from 13 of the hunger strikers in Guantanamo to their military doctors.

It is clear that they do not trust their military doctors. They have very good reason for this, as you should know, from the current protocols of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, which those doctors are ordered to follow.

The orders they receive are ultimately your orders as their Commander-in-Chief.

Without trust, safe and acceptable medical care of mentally competent patients is impossible. Since the detainees do not trust their military doctors, they are unlikely to comply with current medical advice.

That makes it imperative for them to have access to independent medical examination and advice, as they ask, and as required by the UN and World Medical Association.

Many of the hunger strikers will be currently unfit for long-distance flights.

We endorse their request, and are prepared to visit them under appropriate conditions, to assist in their recovery and release, and certify when we are confident it is medically safe for them to fly.

If you keep your word (given over 4 years ago), and arrange release of detainees, they will need to become fit to fly before they can be returned to wherever you order your forces to send them.

We have the deepest sympathy for the hunger strikers, the military doctors, and your predicaments. We offer our services to visit, examine and advise them, and to assist in any way that is acceptable to all parties.

We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.

Call for reader action to stop paying for torture

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is commemorating today, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, by asking the public to “please contact your Members of Congress and ask them to increase funding for Leahy Law vetting.”

The Leahy Law restricts U.S. aid to foreign security forces (police, military, and other) that are credibly alleged to have engaged in torture.

“It is an important tool for ensuring that U.S. tax dollars aren’t given to torturers in other countries,” stated Linda Gustitus, NRCAT President Rev. Richard Killmer, NRCAT Executive Director in a written statement Wednesday. “In FY 2012, only 2 million dollars were available to determine whether foreign security forces engaged in torture.

Given the challenge of investigating security forces from countries amid political and civil strife, that amount is insufficient, says NRCAT.

“As a result, we risk U.S. funds going to torturers.”

Please contact Congress now. Tell them to increase funding for Leahy Law vetting so that no U.S. funds go to those who torture.”

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