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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2012
11:42 AM

CONTACT: Rights Groups

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Broad Coalition Opposes NDAA and Calls on President Obama to Keep His Promise and Shutter Guantanamo Bay Now

Groups will mark 10th anniversary of first detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay with rally, human chain starting at White House; military, legal, religious and 9/11 families among speakers’ list

WASHINGTON - January 5 - A broad coalition of human rights groups and other like-minded organizations will mark the 10th anniversary of the first detainees being jailed at the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, by holding a rally at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., beginning at 12 p.m. Participants oppose the detention provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that violate human rights and are urging President Barack Obama to keep his promise and shut down the detention facility.

Speakers at the rally include Colonel Morris Davis, executive director of the Crimes of War Education Project, who previously served as the chief prosecutor for the office of military commissions at Guantánamo Bay; Talat Hamdani, mother of Salman Hamdani, an emergency medical technician who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks while helping people at the Twin Towers in New York City and Ramzi Kassem, an attorney who represents Guantanamo and Bagram detainees and supervises the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project at CUNY School of Law.

After the rally, the demonstrators will march down Pennsylvania Avenue, led by 171 people in orange jumpsuits and black hoods, representing the men still detained at Guantanamo. The marchers will continue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, holding brief rallies at four locations to dramatically demonstrate the chain of responsibility that connects the White House, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court.

Prior to the rally and demonstration, there will be a press briefing from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the National Press Club (First Amendment room), with Rear Admiral John Hutson, an early critic of the military commission system and the treatment of detainees as one of the featured speakers.

Media is encouraged to attend and cover the rally and vigil. Details below:

What: 10th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay prison –
10 years and counting – with a rally and human chain

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time: Rally:  12:00 p.m.
          Human chain vigil:  1:00 p.m.

Location: Lafayette Park, Pennsylvania Ave. and Jackson Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

For a list of comments from the January 11 coalition members, please go to www.nrcat.org/gitmo2012_quotes.

Participating groups include Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Witness Against Torture, 8th Day Center for Justice, Appeal for Justice, Arab American Association of New York, Backbone Campaign, Baltimore-Washington Area Peace Council, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Bradley Manning Support Network, Casa Esperanza, Catholic Worker, Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5, Code Pink, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Courage to Resist, Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility, Fellowship of Reconciliation, High Road for Human Rights, Human Rights USA, International Justice Network, Islamic Circle of North America-Council for Social Justice, International Federation for Human Rights, Just Foreign Policy, Latin America Solidarity Coalition, Liberty Coalition, Midwest Anti War Mobilization, Muslim Peace Coalition, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms,Natural Solutions Foundation, No More Guantánamos, North Carolina Stop Torture Now Coalition, Occupy Washington DC, Pakistan Solidarity Network, Pax Christi USA, Peace & Justice Center,Physicians for Human Rights, Project Salaam, Quaker Initiative to End Torture, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, Refuge Media Project, School of the Americas Watch, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, South Asian Americans Leading Together, Texans for Peace, The Rutherford Institute, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition, United National Antiwar Coalition, United Nations Association-USA East Bay Chapter, U.S. Peace Council, Veterans for Peace, Veterans for Peace, NY Chapter 34, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, War Criminals Watch, War Resisters League, WarIsACrime.org and World Can’t Wait.

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