The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200

Amnesty International Brings Guantanamo Cell Replica to St. Louis

Human Rights Organization Tours Replica Across the Nation Urging the Bush Administration to Close Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) brought its national tour of a life-size
Guantanamo prison cell replica to St. Louis, Missouri.
This exhibit--open to the public from today through Sunday, October 26--is
designed to increase public awareness and mount pressure on the Bush administration
and Congress to close down the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba.

AIUSA members and other activists experienced
the cell replica and showed their support for the immediate closure of
this prison facility at the Hilton St. Louis Airport Hotel.
Previous tour stops include Miami, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), Washington
(DC), Denver, St. Paul and Los Angeles.
St. Louis is the last stop of this tour in 2008.

"In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision
upholding the detainees' right to challenge their detention in court,
and as Congress scrutinizes the authorization of harsh interrogation techniques,
activists are joining the mounting chorus to urge the Bush administration
to shut down Guantanamo," said Amnesty International USA's executive
director Larry Cox. "It is time to counter terror with justice - on American
soil and abroad."

Five former U.S. Secretaries of State who
served both Republican and Democratic presidents--Madeline Albright, James
Baker, Warren Christopher, Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell-concurred
at a University of Georgia roundtable discussion that closing the detention
facility is important to bolstering the United States' image abroad. Even
the former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, Colonel Morris Davis, denounced
the use of torture-tainted evidence in detainee trials. President Bush
himself said he'd "like Guantanamo to end."

AIUSA's prison cell replica includes a steel
toilet, florescent lights and a sliding metal door. In addition, visitors
may record a 30-second reaction video that will be posted on
and, as well as sign the global petition to shut Guantanamo
down. On the outside of the cell are large LCD screens showing a timeline
of illegal U.S. detentions and torture-related facts.

"Guantanamo continues to be the shameful
global icon of this administration's outright disregard for basic human
dignity and the rule of law," said Cox. "By assaulting core American
including the right to challenge one's incarceration,
and allowing techniques long associated with dictators and despots, President
Bush has squandered the United States' moral leadership around the world.
It's time to remove the ugly blot on the America we believe in and
shut down Guantanamo."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning
grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters,
activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human
rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates
and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice,
freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization.

(212) 807-8400