I'm Jenni Wolfson, the Deputy Director of WITNESS and I've just come back to work after 4 months on maternity leave. Here's my first blog post on the hub about an issue I feel passionate about - the closing of Guantanamo. There is now renewed hope that detainees will be released or prosecuted. However, no matter what happens, detainees will most likely be haunted by their painful and unjust experience. Read about one man's story below.
The New York Times has just reported that lawyers for Guantanamo detainee, Binyam Mohamed, have written to President Obama requesting that he make classified information about Mr. Mohamed's case public and transfer him to Britain, where he has been living since he was a teenager. Before being transferred to Guantanamo, Mr. Mohamed was held in secret detention in Morocco for 18 months and tortured.
Binyam Mohamed's harrowing story is featured in a WITNESS video where his family reads from his unclassified diary that he kept whilst in detention. Here's an extract:
The video is certainly disturbing but is crucial in putting a human face on the issue of extraordinary rendition, secret detention, and torture in a post-9/11 context. WITNESS produced the video Outlawed: Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Disappearances in association with 14 non-profit organisations worldwide, including Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch. Our goal is to draw attention to the post-9/11 phenomenon of renditions and the "war on terror" in a human rights context, and call for action end these human rights abuses.
According to the NYT article, Mr. Mohamed has been on a hunger strike since 5th January, along with 40 other detainees. Click here to watch the full video, learn more and take action.