Guantanamo Prisoners Still in Limbo

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(Public event marking the 11th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantanamo Bay.)  

Four years after President Obama promised to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, 167 prisoners still languish there in a legal no-man's land--the innocent unable to be freed, the guilty unable to be legally prosecuted.

The legal paralysis that has left an estimated 86 men still imprisoned at Guantanamo after having been cleared of all charges will be explored on Sunday, January 27, during an event at First Parish in Concord.  

Two knowledgable speakers coming to the issue from different perspectives will discuss its causes and what should be done about it.

Sabin Willett, a partner in the law firm of Bingham McCutchen and former lead civilian counsel for Guantanamo detainees, will address how the United States came to be guilty of indefinite detentions, holding what are in a sense political prisoners.  He will discuss how the use of torture set the stage for the current stalemate, making it seemingly impossible to prosecute the terrorists legally.

Terry Kay Rockefeller, a documentary filmmaker and peace activist, is a founding member of the organization September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, which advocates nonviolent reponses to the 9/11 attacks.  She will discuss how family members of 9/11 victims feel betrayed by the government's inability to prosecute actual terrorism suspects effectively, instead resorting to military tribunals that have recently been declared not legally binding.

The event will be held on Sunday, January 27, at 3 p.m. at First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road.  It is free and open to the public. A project of Group 15, the Concord-area chapter of Amnesty International, it is co-sponsored by the Social Action Community of First Parish in Concord and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. For more information, go to www.aigroup15.org or e-mail Kathy Taylor at kly.taylor@gmail.com.


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