started this petition to
The Government of South Africa
Guantanamo Bay prison was established in January 2002 by the United States government to hold, without charge or trial, detainees captured all over the world as part of the ‘War on Terror’. It has become notorious for its abuses and denial of due process. Since 2002, 779 men, aged from 13 to 105, have been detained there outside any legal framework. Their treatment, in violation of international law, has included torture. Of the 116 persons currently remaining at Guantanamo Bay, 52 are cleared for release.Those cleared for release are completely innocent, but have been labelled ‘terrorists’. This they have to live with for the rest of their lives. In addition, these men are unable to return to their home countries, since the United States has refused to transfer them due to the ‘security environment’ in their countries, or due to the very real possibility that they may be persecuted and imprisoned again, due to government abuse of counter-terrorism legislation.But there is a way out. Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Albania, El Salvador, Uruguay, Kazakistan, Georgia, Palau, Slovakia and Bulgaria have resettled detainees with much success. South Africa is now able to join the list of countries who have taken the diplomatic steps to resettle detainees. This falls within the South African government’s responsibilities under international law, and under its own Refugee Act of 1998. CAGE Africa, a branch of CAGE in the UK, has just submitted a request to the South African government, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, and the Department of Home Affairs, to resettle between 1 and 11 of the 52 Guantanamo Bay detainees. CAGE is an organisation that advocates for the rights of those adversely affected by War on Terror policies. We stand against torture and against detention-without-trial, and argue for a rational approach based on dialogue and the rule of law as a means of ending the ‘War on Terror’. Now we need your voices too. Sign up and play your part in ending the Guantanamo nightmare for these men once and for all. Add your name to this petition and help convince the South African government that in accepting the cleared detainees it will once again be a stakeholder in facilitating dialogue, understanding and relief to people suffering discriminatory human rights violations. The government can and must step up to resolve a global issue that is the root of so much discord and anger. These men have been waiting for 13 years, without trial or charge, and under torture, for some form of relief. It’s time to bring freedom one step closer.