Wednesday, January 01, 2014

News came yesterday of releases of 4 political prisoners held by the United States for far too long.

Three men of the Uighur nationality are reported by the U.S. Defense Department to have been relocated to Slovakia. This means nine prisoners have been released in the last few months, and for them and their loved ones, we can celebrate.

No thanks are due to the Obama administration for finally letting men go who were cleared for released back into the Bush administration.  The Guardian reports:
“Twelve years of detention without trial have ended for three Uighur men who have left Guantánamo Bay for Slovakia, the US Department of Defense announced on Tuesday, ending a clear mistake of the 9/11 era.

“The three men – Yusef Abbas, Hajiakbar Abdulghuper and Saidullah Khalik – did not pose any terrorist threat to the US, a recognition the Defense Department came to during the Bush administration.
A federal judge ordered them freed in 2008, and a 2009 panel appointed by President Barack Obama concurred. Their continuing detention was the result of a snarled political, bureaucratic and diplomatic process that underscored the continuing difficulty of closing the notorious detention center.”
Uighurs imprisoned in Guantanamo
In a photo from June 2009, Chinese Uighur Guantánamo detainees show a note to members of the media.
Photograph: Brennan Linsley/AP
Our friend and advisor Lynne Stewart was finally granted compassionate release from a federal prison where she should never have been sent to.  She flew home to New York City this morning, and will live with her son, an attorney who has also defended political activists.  We celebrate with Ralph Poynter, her devoted partner of decades, children and grandchildren, with her former clients, some of whom are still political prisoners. 

Judge Koetl promised to free her last August, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons took five months to grant what she was entitled to: a chance to die at home of terminal cancer, surrounded by loved ones.  From Lynne:
12/31/12 3:24 pm

My Dears:

Well, the impossible takes a little longer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We learned this morning that the US Attorney’s office has made the motion for my compassionate release and that the Order was on Judge Koeltl’s desk.  Since on the last go-round he stated in Court that he would treat it “favorably”, we are now just waiting expectantly.

The wonderful thing is that Ralph is here in Ft Worth for a visit and will bring me back to NYC with him.  We don’t know when but the rules state that the warden has 2 days to let me go after he receives the order so it could be as early as Friday or a few days more. Whatever it is, I can’t stop crying tears of Joy !!  I can’t stop thinking of all the marvelous people worldwide who made this happen know because each of you played an integral role. My daughter  Z is already lining up Sloan Kettering and we will have to see if there is a probation qualification attached to the Order and how it will affect me.  After that Ralph will start making arrangements to rent Yankee Stadium for the Welcome Home… Smile

Lynne Stewart comes home
Lynne arriving at LaGuardia airport this afternoon.
Listen to the interview with Bob Boyle, one of Lynne's attorneys, on Democracy Now yesterday.

Watch video interview with Lynne from the airport. Fight on, says Lynne: "Power from the people." Find out more at
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to all who made end of year donations to World Can't Wait's work.  We had a surge of incoming online and check donations Monday & Tuesday, and great messages, too.

IF you didn't have a chance to donate, it's not too late.  Many World Can't Wait supporters volunteer by spreading our messages.  There are other volunteer needs.
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12 Years of Guantanamo: Close It Down NOW!

Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait

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