The American Civil Liberties Union is marking the sixth anniversary of the arrival of prisoners—or as the government calls them, “detainees”—at Guantanamo Bay with a call for a nationwide protest.
Today, thousands of people across the country and throughout the world will wear orange “to symbolize their sadness and disgust with the national shame that is Guantánamo Bay.”
Many celebrities, including those in the Hip Hop community have thrown their support behind the ACLU, who are calling for Guantanamo to be closed after allegations—and photos—of prisoners being tortured surfaced in 2005.
“Everybody has the right to be treated justly and the injustices and corruption of this facility has already been exposed,” One Be Lo says of the situation.
Rasco, one half of Cali Agents, echoed the sentiments of many that preserving human rights is a key to protecting humanity. “I wanted to get involved with this cause because I feel no matter the situation, Human Rights come first,” the Northern California MC said.
In May of 2005, 60 Minutes interviewed Sgt. Erik Saar, a soldier who spent several months at Guantanamo. Saar—a military translator—described several incidents of questionable interrogation tactics on the part of US soldiers.
He spoke of one situation in which a “high priority” prisoner’s interrogation by a female soldier.
“As she stood in front of him, she slowly started to unbutton her Army blouse. She had on underneath the Army blouse a tight brown Army T-shirt, touched her breasts, and said, ‘Don’t you like these big American breasts?'” he said of the interrogation. “She wanted to create a barrier between this detainee and his faith, and if she could somehow sexually entice him, he would feel unclean in an Islamic way, he would not be able to pray and go before his God and gain that strength, so the next day, maybe he would be able to start cooperating, start talking to her.”
According to Saar, during the next encounter, the soldier went a step further.
“She started to unbutton her pants and reached and put her hands in her pants and then started to circle around the detainee. And when she had her hands in her pants, apparently she used something to put what appeared to be menstrual blood on her hand, but in fact was ink.”
Sarr also added that the interrogator later told the prisoner she was “menustrating right now” and wiped the ink on the prisoner’s face.
According to the ACLU web site, more than 100,000 pages of documents exist outlining the conditions prisoners were subjected to at Guantanamo. The human rights group also filed a complaint in 2006 in federal court on behalf of nine prisoners.
To learn more about today’s protest or Guantanamo, visit the ACLU’s web site.