Shining a spotlight on torture
Orange jump-suited walking petition to shine a spotlight on torture
Amnesty International will mark International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26) by seeking signatures on orange jump-suited petitioners in central Auckland today.
The orange jumpsuit has become synonymous with Guantanamo Bay and the torture visited upon detainees there. Which is why Amnesty International members will be asking Aucklanders to sign the jumpsuits in support of closing Guantanamo, and freedom or fair trial for Canadian detainee Omar Khadr.
"Orange has also become the colour of outrage and these signed jumpsuits will provide visually striking evidence of Kiwis' outrage at the injustice of Guantanamo Bay when received by US and Canadian leaders George W Bush and Stephen Harper," says Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand spokesperson Margaret Taylor.
"Torture and other ill-treatment takes place under conditions of secrecy, hidden away from the outside world. This action shines a spotlight on torture and on one individual who has been tortured, and calls on the world to eradicate this barbaric practice," says Taylor.
The walking petition will start at noon from the corner of Karangahape Road and Queen Street and continue down Queen St and throughout the CBD until 2pm.
For further comment or to find out where the walking petition is contact Margaret Taylor, AIANZ Spokesperson, 021 729 373.
AI's position on Guantanamo
Amnesty International is calling on U.S. authorities to either charge Guantnamo detainees with recognizably criminal offences and provide them with a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal, such as a U.S. federal court, or release them unconditionally.
Amnesty International's call to close Guantanamo is part of a wider campaign urging governments to end torture, illegal detention, and other human rights abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism.
Omar Khadr was taken into US custody when he was 15 years old after being wounded during a battle in Afghanistan. After detention at Bagram airbase, he was transferred to Guantnamo Bay where he has been interrogated and tortured. The US government classified him as an "enemy combatant" and he is to be tried by military commission. Omar Khadr is one of at least four and possibly nine Guantnamo Bay detainees aged under 18 when detained. In April 2003 the US authorities revealed that children as young as 13 were detained in the prison. Reports of torture and attempted suicide by juvenile detainees undermine the claim by US authorities that they are receiving "special emotional and physical care". Amnesty International is lobbying the Canadian government to bring him home.