The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kathy Kelly  773 619 2418, Josie Setzler  419 559 3759

Witness Against Torture Activists Hold Sit-In at Senator Mitch McConnell's Office

Activists call on McConnell to schedule a vote on the War Powers Act, allowing discussion in the Senate regarding the war on Yemen, and to fully support closure of Guantanamo prison.


Five human rights activists anticipate being arrested, today, for sitting-in at the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They were among a group of about twenty-five Witness Against Torture activists, many of them clad in orange jumpsuits resembling those worn by prisoners in Guantanamo, who entered the office at 3:00 p.m. They delivered a letter requesting McConnell's assistance on two matters concerning human rights violations.

The letter asks him to "schedule a vote on the War Powers Act to end U.S. military involvement with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the terror attacks on the people of Yemen." The letter also asks that he use his influence to close down the prison facilities at Guantanamo.

Five people willing to risk arrest are seated in a conference room inside the Senator's office. They choose not to leave until they receive a satisfactory response to their letter.

To speak with participants in the sit-in, call Janice Sevre Duszynska at 859 684 4247.

Witness Against Torture is a grassroots movement that came into being in December 2005 when 24 activists walked to Guantanamo to visit the prisoners and condemn torture policies. Since then, it has engaged in public education, community outreach, and non-violent direct action. For the first 100 days of the Obama administration, the group held a daily vigil at the White House, encouraging the new President to uphold his commitments to shut down Guantanamo.