Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Letter to Muhammad - Prisoner in Guantanamo on the Six Year Anniversary of Its Opening

Dear Muhammad Ejaz Khan:

I finally found the correct spelling of your name from the list of detainees on www.CagePrisoners.com. The Pentagon list spelled it incorrectly.

As a member of Code Pink Women for Peace, I am writing to let you know that there are many Americans who care about yours and others' extended imprisonment without charges in Guantanamo Prison and named and "secret" prisons around the world. (I believe that Guantanamo is truly a Maximum Security Prison and not a "Camp" , unless you call this a "Concentration Camp"...I am not allowed to visit to find out for myself!)

On Friday, January 11, 2008 hundreds of people gathered on a rainy, cold day in Washington, D.C. from around the country to protest the continued imprisonment without charge the reported 275 persons still imprisoned in Guantanamo on the sixth anniversary of the first detainee being brought there.

When were you brought to Guantanamo and what circumstances caused you to be picked up in Afghanistan since you were born in Alipoor, Pakistan I am told. What is your real birth date? The one on the Pentagon record is 1-1-71, but "Cage Prisoners" does not publish the birth dates because there is no proof available in most cases.

Where is your family living? I realize that to tell me this might get them killed, so I do not expect to hear back from you on this, but I would like to meet your family some day...

I believe that we are one family supported by planet earth. That is part of the reason that I took your name on Friday and surrendered my Driver's License in the Nonviolent Direct Action at the Supreme Court in the Nation's Capital. I was born into a country in which one is innocent until proven guilty. I believe that you are innocent, especially since your guilt in any crime warranting your extended imprisonment has not been proven.

I cannot imagine what you have been through in Gitmo! My heart becomes sad, then shuts down and becomes numb thinking about the travesty of torture promulgated upon Muslim people by the Bush Administration in its "War on Terror" in multiple known and unknown prison sites around the world...

But today (January 11) I chose to focus on YOUR imprisonment. (Actually we did an action at a Mall in Western Massachusetts, where we marched in orange jumpsuits wearing signs saying " The united States of America I believe in ... would not through the mall passing out information about the sixth anniversary and spoke to people about yours and other prisoners' plight in Gitmo until we were lead out of the Mall by security guards. I spoke your name and mae up how you might have been picked up and brought to prison. WHY ARE YOU STILL BEING HELD?!

I am hoping that the kind of publicity that we have raised about yours and others' imprisonment will lead to your release, eventual healing from the traumas you have witnessed and experienced. I believe that this is the very LEAST that I can do to say no to the immoral and shameful Bush-Cheney policy of torture , torture by rendition and (seomtimes secret)indefinite detention without legal charge or evidence. You should have the right to challenge your detention via Habeas Corpus. We are advocating that everyone call their Congresspersons at 202-224-3121 and ask for a closing of Guantanamo and an end to torture as an official policy of the United States military and agencies and its agents and sub-contractors.

We got a glimpse of what you go through. Some have speculated that our imprisonment was so difficult in order to discourage future demonstrations at the Supreme Court. There was an outside procession, which I cannot report about.Information about it can be found on the Witness Against Torture website: www.witnesstorture.org

My dear Muhammed, I was arrested on my knees a few minutes after arriving in the Rotunda of the Supreme Court. My friend and I were to have served as liasons with the Supreme Court Police after our program on Guantanamo started up. They grabbed my arms and pulled them harshly behind my back, never giving us warnings. 82 of us were arrested for standing up for you all, about half inside the Supreme Court and half outside...We felt that it was the right thing to do, to stand up for you and raise more awareness about this deplorable fact of the sixth anniversary of imprisonment at Guantanamo!

Whatever the reason, we were held for 28-30 hours with inadequate water and food. In my case I was moved with a changing group of seven to five different jail sites, not allowing us any sleep. Each time the women were frisked, even though we had been jailed, guarded, and transported by police personnel. But who is supposed to have a rational experience in prison?! Friends that we came with suddenly disappeared from our midst. This was disorienting as we worried about their whereabouts.

In the last jail at the District Court on Indiana Avenue there were fourteen of us in a single jail cell. None of the jail cells throughout the time we were held was clean. In fact they were all filthy! I tried to sleep by covering my head with the neck portion of my turtleneck sweater flipped over my shoe. (Laces had been removed...)

Our main goal was to get our name recorded in the Congressional Record, so when we went to Court the following day to be arraigned, when called upon to state our names, we gave the name of the detainee we were representing. We hope that you are still alive and that you are okay. I want to hear your voice and see you face once more. I pray daily for your legal representation by an attorney, for your prompt release and return to your family, for a full recovery of your health and well being and that you might never experience torture again.

I have decided to send this letter to you via the website Cage Prisoners.com. I hope that you receive it and that you will know that I/we care about you-ALL of you!

I hope even more people will join the protest of the torture and rendition program which will increase the likelihood of your release to your family. (NOT some secret prison somewhere...)

Don't lose hope-it lives!

Beth Adams-Code Pink - Western Massachusetts from D.C. Code Pink House