Write a letter

Letter writing is an important part of our campaign. See below some of the people to whom you could send a letter urging the closure of Guantanamo.  Also below, see several sample letters.

Write to the US President Donald Trump and insist he close Guantanamo prison. 

Send your letter to: US President Donald Trump ,The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500.

Or try phoning: Comments: 202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Or email your message via: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/#page  

Write to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and call on her to press the US President and his administration to close down Guantanamo, to respect international law on human rights and torture. 

Send your letter to: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA

Or email the PM, using the link: https://email.number10.gov.uk/

You could also write to:

Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH, United Kingdom

Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

See other Ministers at the FCO here

Guantanamo Justice Campaign delivered the following letter to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (11.1.2020)


Prime Minister, the illegal US prison known as Guantanamo still remains open after 18 years. Since 11th January 2002, Guantanamo prison has held a total of 780 prisoners. The prison is notorious, a symbol of injustice: a place known for torture, abuse, and indefinite detention, where prisoners are denied their human rights. Just 40 prisoners remain incarcerated and US President Trump has previously stated he wishes to send more prisoners there.

 

Last month, provisions in the new US National Defence Authorisation Act, signed into law by President Trump, effectively block any attempt to shut down the prison and any return of Guantanamo Bay to Cuba. The ‘Act’ also bars transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the US for prosecution or medical attention and treatment. The requirements of the ‘Act’ are in line with the January 2018 executive order signed by President Trump, which has been widely viewed as an action to keep the facility open indefinitely.

 

Today Saturday 11th January 2020, Guantanamo Justice Campaign (GJC) marked the day when prisoners first arrived at Guantanamo. A  vigil ’18 YEARS – NOT ONE MORE DAY – CLOSE GUANTANAMO – US ILLEGAL TORTURE PRISON’ was held in Trafalgar Square from 1pm-3pm. We demand US President Trump close Guantanamo and end the illegal treatment of the remaining prisoners.

 

Prime Minister we ask you to make urgent representations to the US President to use his executive powers and close the brutal and illegal prison known as Guantanamo. It serves no useful purpose at all other than to increase tension and division amongst peoples, and to fuel conflict. President Trump’s decision to keep it open with talk of expansion and increased expenditure has been roundly condemned by many, as were his declared intentions to fill the concentration camp with “bad dudes,” “bring back waterboarding ... and a hell of a lot worse”. There must be an end to the practice of illegal imprisonment, indefinite detention and all forms of torture.

 

Over the years many British MPs have made public their views on the issue, we feel many more, including international heads of state, would follow suit and highlight the prisoners’ plight if you were to give a lead. It remains our view that holding talks behind closed doors is not enough. When people have for eighteen years been unlawfully detained, most cruelly abused, and denied their human rights, and are now being held in indefinite detention without hope for justice, surely the UK government must take a more public, robust and critical approach. We urge you, Prime Minister and your government, to make a clear public statement on these matters – calling for the illegal prison to be swiftly closed down, and justice for all Guantanamo prisoners.

 

Of immediate concern to us is the situation of five prisoners, known to have been already cleared for release. They are: 038 Al Yazidi; Ridah (Tunisia); 309 Abdal Sattar, Muieen (UAE); 893 Al Bihani, Tawfiq (Saudi Arabia); 694 Barhoumi, Sufyian (Algeria); 244 Nasir, Abdul Latif (Morocco). These five Guantanamo detainees have been cleared for transfer by all relevant U.S. government offices and agencies. All five have been held without trial for more than 15 years. It is understood that their transfer would not be a threat to the United States. Surely any country claiming to be a democracy should respect its own release and transfer process. We call upon you Prime Minister, as a matter of urgency, to raise their cases with the US President, stressing that their continued forced detention in Guantanamo must end, their human rights must be immediately reinstated, and their transfer or release arrangements must be set in motion, all without further delay.

Guantanamo Justice Campaign sent the following to UK Prime Minister Theresa May (11.3.2018).

"Guantanamo prison is notorious, a symbol of injustice: still known for torture, abuse, and indefinite detention, where prisoners are denied their human rights. Since 2002, the prison has held a total of 780 prisoners. Now at the beginning of 2018, 41 prisoners remain there. Today Thursday 11th January Guantanamo Justice Campaign (GJC) marks the moment when prisoners first arrived at Guantanamo with a vigil running from 12noon-3pm. Our vigil ‘GITMO MUST BE CLOSED - DEMAND TRUTH AND JUSTICE - 16 YEARS - STOP THE ABUSE AND BRUTALITY’ takes place in Trafalgar Square.

The US elected a man who during the US Presidential election campaign promised he would maintain the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, fill it with “bad dudes,” “bring back waterboarding ... and a hell of a lot worse”. In office President Trump has shown a total disregard and contempt for human rights law by his statements, on torture, imprisonment outside of law, the Guantanamo prisoners, and what he intends to do with the infamous US run Guantanamo prison which sits on occupied land. Overall he is taking the US further down a road that ignores international law and undermines the authority of the UN, and can only serve to create wider divisions amongst peoples and fuel violent conflict.

 Torture and ill-treatment is known to continue at Guantanamo. Recently UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer revealed that Guantanamo prisoner, Ammar al-Baluchi, is still being tortured. Melzer noted the historic use of torture in CIA custody has not yet led to prosecutions, and further warned, that by "failing to prosecute the crime of torture in CIA custody, the U.S. is in clear violation of the Convention against Torture and is sending a dangerous message of complacency and impunity to officials in the U.S. and around the world.” It needs to be made absolutely clear to the US President and his administration that people in the UK and people around the world are outraged by the policies and values promoted by President Trump and this includes the continued existence of Guantanamo and its heinous practices.

 GJC’s most recent letter to you Prime Minister asked you "to make urgent representations to the US President to close the illegal prison known as Guantanamo, not relocate it to a US mainland prison where this unlawful travesty of justice will be hidden from view, and to end the practice of indefinite detention and all methods of torture.” We stressed that it was imperative that you and your government, strongly challenge any attempts by the US to reintroduce torture. We stated our view that holding talks behind closed doors are not enough. Some courageous Members of Parliament have already spoken out in public and many more would follow if you too were seen to make a clear public statement on these matters – calling for the illegal prison to be closed down. Last October, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, went on a 24 fast in solidarity with Guantanamo prisoners on hunger strike in peaceful protest at their unjust detention. More UK Government Ministers and Members of Parliament need to step up and highlight the prisoners’ plight.

 Our letter to you concluded "We would appreciate knowing your views on the issues we have raised above, and news of any positive outcomes stemming from any communications, talks, discussions that you or your government Ministers have held with your US counterparts regarding the illegal Guantanamo prison, the related issue of prisoners human rights being denied there, and the issues of torture and indefinite detention.” We still await a reply from No 10.

 Guantanamo Justice Campaign is opposed all forms of racism and bigotry. We stand together with others against those who engage in illegal military interventions and aggressive wars that have resulted in so much death and destruction. We call on the US to respect international and human rights law embedded in such agreements as the Geneva Convention, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention Against Torture. President Trump has the powers to set the closure of Guantanamo in motion and do much more besides, to end the drift towards further aggressive war and instead, work for peaceful solutions. 

We hope you agree with us Prime Minister that without any hesitation President Trump should use his executive powers now, shut Guantanamo down, and end the brutality, indefinite detention and torture. We would appreciate knowing your views on the issues we have raised above, and news of any positive outcomes stemming from any communications, talks, discussions that you or your government Ministers have held with your US counterparts regarding the illegal Guantanamo prison, the related issue of prisoners human rights being denied there, and the issues of torture and indefinite detention." 

GJC letter to US President Donald Trump (2018)

"Guantanamo Justice Campaign (GJC), formerly the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign (SSAC), believes the closure of Guantanamo prison is long overdue. Those who have argued that Guantanamo should have never been set up in the first place, that such a prison could only exist outside of international law, that it practiced torture and ignored human rights law, and could only bring the US into disrepute and ridicule, have been proven correct. The prison continues to project to the world a United States ready to ride roughshod over international agreements, and use brutal methods to hold people illegally. In this situation truth, justice, and human rights are seen to be jettisoned.

Guantanamo prison, set up outside of international law by the United States in 2001, has become notorious for its use of abuse, brutality, and torture. Prisoners have been denied their human rights in violation of the Geneva Convention (articles 3,17 and 109). For years, the US has flouted the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (specifically articles 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10). It is well known prisoners in Guantanamo have experienced years of cruel and inhumane treatment and some have died there.

Amongst the forty one prisoners who still remain there without charge or trial a number have already been cleared for release. We understand the five prisoners in Guantanamo already cleared for release are: Prisoner #38 Ridah Bin Saleh Al-Yazidi who has been detained for fifteen years and  cleared for release for ten years; prisoner #309 Muieen Adeen Al-Sattar detained for fifteen years and cleared for seven years; prisoner #893 Tawfiq Nasir Awad Al-Bihani detained for fourteen years and cleared for seven years; prisoner #244 Abdul Latif Nasir detained for fifteen years and cleared fo one year; prisoner #694 Sufyian Barhoumi detained for fifteen years and also  cleared for one year. It is our view that all five men should be immediately released back to their families.

We also draw your attention to another case. Guantanamo prisoner Ahmed Mohammed Al Darbi was meant to go home to Saudi Arabia, he we understand has turned state witness and his lawyers have argued he now should be released. Ahmed al Darbi, 43, was said by Pentagon spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins to have “complied with all terms of his plea agreement,” – this statement she made in response to a query from the Miami Herald.

Guantanamo is clearly a stain on the reputation of the US but remains open. It has damaged the national security of the US and it is a symbol of injustice to the whole world. The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report (2014), ‘Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program’, revealed the extensive and systematic use of torture in the US run prison. International organisations including the United Nations, have called for Guantanamo to close. We welcomed President Obama’s announcements when he recognized the extent of worldwide opinion and promised to close the facility but he failed to achieve and honour his repeated pledges. The prison’s existence adversely affects much of the developed world, it brings shame on many countries of the world, and encourages other countries to disregard international law.

Millions around the world believe Guantanamo should be closed. The UN has advised the US to close the facility, world leaders have voiced similar. Former UK Prime Minister’s and their governments have come to the view that Guantanamo should be closed. Those prisoners cleared for release should be released without delay, and the remaining prisoners should have full access to justice.

The shameful ordeal of those subjected to abduction, rendition, torture, abuse, and years of detention without trial, must never happen again. We put to you that justice requires transparency and accountability, and a deep respect for international law as reflected, for example, in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We urge you, President Trump, to hold dear, human rights, justice, and world peace. We call on you, President, to make plans to close the prison facilities at Guantanamo Bay. We ask you to act with determination to end the illegal treatment of the remaining prisoners. Guantanamo must be shut down and not be relocated or re-established in any form. The inhumane practice of indefinite detention must end. Only 41 prisoners remain at Guantanamo, all have suffered great injustice. This unlawful travesty of justice must be removed from the face of the world."