Celebrating Your Profound Impact On The Work We Do
As the Rule of Law Committee members await the next 9/11 pre-trial hearings later this month, we are encouraged by the international attention that Guantánamo and the failed military commissions have recently garnered. On September 28, the European Parliament in Brussels hosted an event described by its organizers as "the most significant gathering ever assembled on Guantánamo.” Peaceful Tomorrows’ own Valerie Lucznikowska spoke movingly of how family members’ questions about how the 9/11 attacks were planned and supported remain unanswered after more than 22 years. The large number of speakers included former prisoners, attorneys representing detainees cleared for release who remain at Guantánamo, and defense counsel for the men charged in the military commissions. Also attending was the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, the first Rapporteur to visit Guantánamo, whose 23-page report condemned the "ongoing cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" of detainees as well as the failure to deliver justice and accountability for the crimes of 9/11. Both of these issues featured significantly in the recent UN Human Rights Committee review of the US government’s compliance with obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). You may want to read this insightful analysis of the review, “US Regresses on Torture and Guantanamo at Treaty Review.”
The 9/11 military commission will again convene at Guantánamo for two weeks beginning on November 6. In a foreshadowing of major decisions on the horizon, the judge signaled potential willingness to rule on the suppression dispute. He ordered the prosecution and the defense to file updated motions on a variety of issues that must be weighed to determine whether statements that the defendants made to the FBI “clean team” interrogators will be admissible at trial, or should be suppressed. Although the judge will retire in April of 2024, he could rule on this crucial issue during the five weeks of hearings scheduled for February 2024.
The Afghanistan Committee is concerned about the recent series of devastating earthquakes in Afghanistan which are receiving little attention from the outside world. Peaceful Tomorrows joined a letter by 35 organizations, led by Afghans for a Better Tomorrow, to call on the Biden administration to send immediate humanitarian assistance to aid those affected by the devastating earthquakes in Herat. Read the letter by clicking HERE. Also of grave concern is the the fate of over 1 million Afghans who have been forced out of Pakistan and back across the border into Afghanistan. November 1 is the deadline for 1.7 million undocumented migrants to leave the country, 1 million of whom are Afghans, some of whom were born and have lived their entire lives in Pakistan. They return to an Afghanistan under Taliban rule and are unlikely to be welcomed back in their home country whose economy struggles under international sanctions on the banking sector and cuts in foreign aid. The safety and security of women and girls is particularly worrisome. According to UN agencies two-thirds of the population is in need of humanitarian aid. The influx of returnees will exacerbate the situation. CLICK here to learn more.
A Call For Ceasefire:
Along with many other organizations, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows signed a letter of Interfaith leaders who all joined a call for Ceasefire in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. CLICK HERE to read the letter. In addition, PT member, Jessica Murphy, described her thoughts about the war in Israel/ Palestine eloquently while Chris Hayes paid tribute to us during his show "All In" as a "small organization...asking our country not to respond to the deaths of their loved ones with more violence."
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