NEWS RELEASE – JANUARY 12, 2007 – 9 p.m.
FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST PRISONERS AT GUANTANAMO
Demonstration Held in Managua, Nicaragua to Protest Abuse of Prisoners
For pictures, please see below.
CHRISTIAN BASE COMMUNITIES
Contact: Father Joseph Mulligan, S.J.
(country code 505) 635-6381
This week we here in Managua have joined with others in many parts of the world in commemorating the fifth anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners at Guantanamo.
Today, in our demonstration involving 50 persons in front of the U.S. Embassy, we offered a “street theater” presentation of the abuse of prisoners in Guantanamo – two persons dressed in orange jumpsuits (Guantanamo prison uniform), bound by chains in a fetal position, being abused by persons representing U.S. soldiers.
We also showed 12 paintings depicting various forms of abuse and torture at Guantanamo, according to the testimony of former prisoners.
(It was inadvisable to have our activity on Jan. 11, the actual anniversary as observed by other groups throughout the world, due to the severe security measures which were in effect for the inauguration of President Daniel Ortega on Jan. 10 and which continued during Jan. 11.)
The following is our statement of solidarity:
Statement of Solidarity with the Prisoners at Guantánamo
1. In union with protests in Amsterdam, England, USA, and other parts of the world, we express our solidarity with the prisoners held by the U.S. military at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, some of whom this week are completing 5 years of cruel and illegal imprisonment. We join them in demanding that they be treated with due process according to law and with respect for their rights as human beings and as prisoners. Each prisoner deserves to have the charges against him stated clearly, to have adequate legal counsel, and to have due process in court, recognizing that in U.S. jurisprudence a person is innocent until proven guilty.
2. We protest the widely known abuses and torture to which some of them have been subjected. These abuses, plus the fact that they are held in solitary confinement for inordinate lengths of time and that they do not know when, if ever, they will be brought to trial and possibly released or sentenced – constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.”
3. We support the worldwide demand for an immediate end to the military occupation of Iraq.
A previous version of this Statement was signed in 2005 by the following persons, among many others, in Nicaragua:
FATHER ERNESTO CARDENAL
FATHER FERNANDO CARDENAL, S.J.
FATHER MIGUEL D´ESCOTO, M.M.
FATHER URIEL MOLINA OLIÚ
DORA MARÍA TÉLLEZ
BISHOP PEDRO CASALDÁLIGA, Brazil
ADOLFO PEREZ ESQUIVEL, Argentina (Nobel Peace Prize, 1980)
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU (Nobel Peace, Prize, 1984)
Our activity was conducted in coordination with:
WITNESS AGAINST TORTURE
International Day of Action to Shut Down Guantanamo
For more information go to www.WitnessTorture.org
For information about the GLOBAL CALL FOR NONVIOLENT CIVIL RESISTANCE TO END THE U.S.-LED MILITARY OCCUPATION OF IRAQ, please see: