Contact NCC News Service: 212-870-2252 | E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org | Most Recent Stories | NCC Home
Guantanamo Families and Religious Leaders Take
Campaign to the U.S.
News Release from the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission
March 1, 2004, LONDON -- On March 6, the London-based Guantanamo Human Rights Commission, founded by Corin and Vanessa Redgrave, is taking a delegation from Europe to the United States to put pressure on President George Bush, the U.S. Government and American lawmakers to treat the Guantanamo Bay prisoners according to the standards of American and International law.
The delegation, led by Corin and Vanessa Redgrave, will comprise European families of Guantanamo Bay prisoners (including some of those whose relatives were announced to be released by Jack Straw on 19th February), their lawyers, religious leaders from the Muslim, Jewish and Anglican faiths, renowned actors, musicians and authors. Relatives of the Guantanamo families joining the delegation are from the UK, France, Germany and Sweden.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and National Council of Churches USA (NCC) will be hosting the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission during the trip in the U.S. and organizing a series of events in Washington, D.C., and New York City. The Center for Constitutional Rights, representing the families of Guantanamo detainees, brought the suit currently before the US Supreme Court that asserts the due process rights of the Guantanamo detainees. The NCC and ACLU are among signatories of a Friend of the Court brief filed by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (recently renamed Human Rights First) in support of the case.
The delegation will begin their program of events with a press conference in London on March 5 before their departure to the States on March 6.
On March 8, the National Council of Churches USA will host a press conference for them in Washington, D.C., followed by meetings with legislators and a walk to deliver letters to President George Bush at the White House. In the evening there will be a Guantanamo Due Process Interfaith Prayer/Reflection Service with readings by leaders of religious and human rights organizations and performances by artists.
On March 9, the ACLU will be hosting a press conference at the National Press Club and the delegation then departs for New York. On March 10, the relatives of the European Guantanamo Prisoners will meet with representatives of the CCR; the CCR will be hosting a press conference at the UNCA club of the United Nations and will be holding a Guantanamo Public Meeting in the evening.
Outlined below is the itinerary and events planned for the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission delegation:
Friday March 5 -- 9:30 a.m.
Photocall of members of the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission delegation. Venue: St Stephens Green, House of Lords, London.
Friday March 5 -- 10:00 a.m.
Guantanamo Human Rights Commission Press Conference in London – aims and plans for US trip. Venue: Jubilee Room, House of Commons. Chaired by Corin Redgrave, speakers include relatives of Guantanamo prisoners.
Saturday March 6
Delegation departs London Heathrow
Monday March 8 -- 10:00 a.m.
Guantanamo Due Process Deputation Press Conference. Venue: Steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Bad weather venue: National Council of Churches, 110 Maryland Ave., N.E, Washington, D.C.
Hosted by: The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary for the National Council of Churches USA. The press conference will focus on the Guantanamo prisoners’ families and the faith-based groups that support them. Speakers include Terry Waite, former advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury and former Beirut hostage detained for more than 1,700 days by Hezbollah.
Monday March 8 -- 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Appointments with US legislators and media on Capitol Hill
Monday March 8 -- 2.00 p.m.
Walk to the White House. Venue: Walk departs from J.W. Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. The Rev. Dr. Robert W Edgar, General Secretary for the National Council of Churches USA, leads the Guantanamo Due Process Deputation (includes relatives of prisoners) on the walk to the White House to deliver letters to the First Family urging due process for the Guantanamo detainees.
Monday March 8 -- 6:00 p.m.
Guantanamo Due Process Interfaith Prayer/Reflection Service. Venue: New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. Led by the Rev. Roger J Gench, Pastor, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA.
Participants include: Nadine Strossen, President of ACLU; Ron Daniels, Executive Director of the CCR; Gareth Peirce, Senior UK Human rights lawyer; Corin Redgrave, Founder of the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission and actor; Rabbi David Goldberg, Massoud Shadjareh, Islamic Human Rights Commission; Vanessa Redgrave, co-founder of the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission; Margaret Drabble, UK-based author. Music by Peter Yarrow with Bethany Yarrow, and the InKlein Quartet.
Tuesday March 9 -- 12:30 p.m.
National Press Club “Newsmaker” Reception and Luncheon. Venue: National Press Club, 529 14th St NW, Washington, DC, 13th Floor. Keynote speaker: Anthony Romero, Executive Director of ACLU, on Guantanamo Bay and related government actions since 9/11.
Tuesday March 9 -- 2:00 p.m.
ACLU Press Conference for Guantanamo Families and US Veterans. Venue: National Press Club, Zenger Room Address as above, follows “Newsmaker” event.
Wednesday March 10 -- 11:00 a.m.
Center for Constitutional Rights Press Conference for Guantanamo Families. Venue: UNCA Club, United Nations, Secretariat Building, 3rd Floor, Room S-0326, enter either 46th Street and 1st Avenue or at 42nd and 1st Avenue, New York.
Wednesday March 10 -- 2:00 p.m.
Relatives of Guanatanamo Prisoners will meet with representatives from the Center For Constitutional Rights. Venue: Center for Constitutional Rights offices.
Wednesday March 10 -- 7:00 p m
Guantanamo Public Meeting hosted by Center for Constitutional Rights. Venue: Cooper Union Great Hall, 7 East Seventh Street at 3rd Avenue, New York City. Speakers include CCR President Michael Ratner, Corin Redgrave, Azmat Begg, Rabbi David Goldberg, Margaret Drabble. Music by InKlein Quartet, Liz Magnes.
The Guanatanamo Human Rights Commission delegation comprises: Corin and Vanessa Redgrave, founders of the Commission; Terry Waite, former advisor to Archbishop of Canterbury and former Beirut hostage; Rabbi David Goldberg, leading U.K. Jewish leader; Massoud Shadjareh, senior member of the Muslim community in Britain, representing the Islamic Human Rights Commission in the U.K.; Azmat Begg, father of U.K. detainee Moazzam Begg; Aymen Sassi, brother of French detainee Nizar Sassi; Jacques Debray, lawyer of Aymen Sassi; Andrfe Gerin, Mayor of Venissieux, where the Sassi family lives, and Rhone Deputy; Rabiye Kurnaz, mother of German detainee Murat Kurnaz; her lawyer, Bernhard Docke; Margaret Drabble, UK author and Commission patron; members of the InKlein Quartet, and Vivian Yates, Peace & Progress.
The Guantanamo Human Rights Commission, founded by Corin and Vanessa Redgrave, was launched on January 20, 2004, at the House of Commons. The Commission is campaigning for the rights of the European Guantanamo Bay detainees. The Commission wants the domestic governments of the European detainees and the European parliament to put pressure on President George Bush and the U.S. government to treat the prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay according to the standards of American and International law. The Guantanamo Human Rights Commission’s visit to the United States aims to raise the issue directly with members of the U.S. Congress and thereby to the U.S. Administration.
NCC Media Contact: 202-544-2350 x 11; email@example.com
Return to NCC Home Page