ACLU of Florida Joins Amnesty International USA to Launch National Tour of Guantánamo Cell Replica in Miami
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Amnesty International Will Tour Cell Across the Nation Urging the Bush Administration to Close Detention Facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba
For Immediate Release: Monday, May 5, 2008
Contact: AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302; or ACLU-FL media office: firstname.lastname@example.org
MIAMI –The ACLU of Florida will join Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) this Thursday as they launch a national tour of a life-size Guantánamo prison cell replica in Miami. AIUSA and ACLU members along with other activists will gather at Bayfront Park at 11:30 AM on Thursday, May 8, 2008 to experience the cell and continue to push the Bush administration to shut down the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The ACLU remains focused on restoring the rule of law in our justice system and closing Guantánamo. “The trial of the detainees must reflect American values. Guantánamo Military Commissions are a Bush Administration invention created to evade the legal principles that would apply to prosecutions that take place in U.S. civilian courts or military courts, which are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. These Commissions rely on confessions possibly extracted by torture, secret evidence that a defendant cannot rebut, and hearsay,” said Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director, who will address the crowd on Thursday.
“Indefinite detention and denial of due process are inconsistent with American values, but that is precisely what our government is doing in Guantánamo Bay. It is time to end this abuse of power. We do not decide whether or not to adhere to our values of due process and justice depending on who is being prosecuted and what the alleged crimes are.”
Larry Cox, AIUSA's executive director, will kick off the event where many participants will be dressed in Guantánamo-style orange boiler-suits. Neal Sonnet, chair of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Treatment of Enemy Combatants and an observer of the Guantánamo military commission trials, will also speak. Activists will hold signs urging the U.S. government to stop torture, halt indefinite detention practices and end the use of secret prisons. Visitors will be encouraged to experience the interactive cell on display at the event.
This cell replica will visit cities and towns across the United States. The cell is designed to provide all visitors with a tangible glimpse into the life of a Guantánamo detainee. The replica includes a steel toilet, florescent lights, frosted windows and a sliding metal door. Many detainees are held in isolation in similar conditions for as long as 23 hours a day.
The cell replica will be on exhibit at Bayfront Park on Thursday, May 8 (1-8 p.m.), Friday and Saturday, May 9-10 (10 a.m.-8 p.m.) and Sunday, May 11 (10 a.m.-6 p.m.). Visitors may tour the cell and record a 30-second reaction video that will be posted on youtube.com and tearitdown.org, as well as sign the global petition to shut Guantánamo down.
EVENT: Launch of National Tour of Guantánamo Cell Replica
DATE: Thursday, May 8, 2008
TIME: Beginning at 11:30 a.m.
LOCATION: Bayfront Park
North Biscayne Blvd
Miami, Florida 33132