The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sijal Nasralla,
Alli Jarrar, Amnesty International, (860) 575-5692 

Former Guantanamo Detainees, Advocacy Groups, and Activists Deliver 300,000+ #CloseGuantanamo Petition Signatures to The White House on The 20th Anniversary of The War on Terror

Former detainee Mansoor Adayfi and members from Amnesty International, Justice for Muslims Collective, MPower Change, The Center for Constitutional Rights, will be outside of the White House today, demanding President Biden take immediate action to close the Military prison at Guantánamo Bay.


As of today, Monday, September 20th, 2021, it will have been 20 years since the U.S. formally declared a "Global War On Terror", and nearly 20 years since the opening of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

President Biden had pledged to close the prison in which Muslim men have been tortured and detained since 2002 -- but so far has failed to urgently act towards that goal.

MPower Change, Daily Kos, Amnesty International, Justice for Muslims Collective, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and former Guantanamo detainee Mansoor Adayfi for will be using the day to hold physical and online rallies to deliver the demand to #CloseGITMO directly to the White House.

What: A petition delivery of over 300,000 signatures to the White House demanding an immediate, permanent and just closure of Guantanamo Bay.

When: 3PM ET Monday, September 20th, 2021 -- the day George W. Bush announced the "War on Terror" twenty years ago.

Where: Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House, and online via this zoom event.

Who: Former Guantanamo detainee Mansoor Adayfi, The Center for Constitutional Rights, Justice for Muslims Collective, MPower Change, Amnesty International USA, and Daily Kos


"Nearly 800 Muslim men and boys have been imprisoned indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, most never even charged with a crime, all without access to anything resembling a fair trial. President Biden has the authority and power to permanently close Guantanamo Bay, turning it from a living symbol of torture and injustice to a historical warning to future generations. President Biden should keep his promise. He should close Guantanamo. Twenty years of institutionalized Islamophobic violence is twenty years too long." Sijal Nasralla, Campaign Director at MPower Change.

"Closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay has been one of Amnesty International's demands of the US government since the notorious site was opened almost 20 years ago," said Alli Jarrar of Amnesty International. "Over a dozen Amnesty branches worldwide have contributed to this effort to call on President Biden to finish what Obama failed to do: shutter the facility once and for all, immediately. Its continued existence is a perpetuation of human rights abuses, a reminder of torture and indefinite detention, and it is an international embarrassment for the United States."

"Every day that Guantanamo remains open is another day added to the unprecedented and cruel, decades-long detention without charge or fair trial of Center for Constitutional Rights clients and the rest of the men who languish there. President Biden has the authority, roadmap, and public support necessary to close Guantanamo, and we join hundreds of thousands of activists from all over the world in urging him to take immediate action to fulfill that goal." - Aliya Hussain, Advocacy Program Manager, Center for Constitutional Rights.

"It's long past time for the Biden administration to close Guantanamo prison and end indefinite detention once and for all. With the 20th anniversary of the global 'War on Terror' approaching, Guantanamo remains part of the nation's decades-long legacy of mass incarceration and U.S. militarism. Closing this facility is an essential step towards justice, accountability, and reconciliation." - Carolyn Fiddler, Communications Director at Daily Kos.

"In the post 9/11 War on Terror, Guantanamo has always been an emblematic example of how institutionalized Islamophobia has been manifested in the last two decades. It is outrageous that the prison remains open, that prisoners continue to be abused, and that those released are abandoned by the US government. Biden must close Guantanamo immediately in addition to addressing the horrific aftermath of the prison and the lives that have been destroyed by it. The US must be held accountable and this is one way to move forward towards this goal." - Dr. Maha Hilal, Co-Director at Justice for Muslims Collective

MPower Change is a grassroots organizing movement rooted in diverse Muslim communities throughout the United States who are working together to build social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people.