Amnesty International launches contest for artists to demand closure of Gitmo concentration camp

Yesterday, January 11, marked 20 years since the opening of Guantanamo Bay, the notorious US detention camp in Cuba that faced allegations of torture, ill-treatment and indefinite detention without charges Muslim foreign nationals. Despite widespread international condemnation, and promises by US Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden to close the facility, it continues to operate, holding dozens of detainees without any prospect of a fair trial. On this grim anniversary, Amnesty International and the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) launched the Guantanamo 20th Anniversary Youth Poster Contest, an open call for artists under 30 to submit poster designs about Guantánamo for a grand prize of $1,000. .

“Art is a powerful way to tell a story and inspire others to take action,” the rights groups said in a statement. “Guantánamo has been open now for 20 years. President Biden needs to hear from you!”

The two organizations accused President Biden of failing to close the Guantánamo prison camp, saying he “doesn’t seem to make that a priority.”

Infographic for the Youth Poster Contest marking the 20th anniversary of Guantánamo (Image courtesy of Amnesty International and the Center for Victims of Torture)

The competition seeks to search for original digital artwork that aligns with the theme of “Closing Guantanamo: 20 Years Too Long” and educates the public about the detention facility. Applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges that includes representatives from Amnesty International and CVT, as well as Sabri al-Qurashi, an artist from Yemen who has been held at Guantanamo for more than 12 years.

Submissions for the competition are due on February 9. The winning design will be announced on February 12 and will be used extensively in AI and CVT campaigns. Second and third place winners will receive $500 and $200 respectively, and second place It will be shared on the social media accounts of both organizations.

Established in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Guantánamo was designed as a facility that operated outside normal US laws or judicial oversight. In the past two decades, 780 Muslim men and teens have been detained at the facility, and 39 remain behind bars, according to a recent disclosure from the US government’s Interagency Periodic Review Board. The council recommended the release of 12 of the remaining prisoners, but the transfer is suspended due to security agreements with destination countries, according to what he said. The New York Times.

Over the years, Guantánamo detainees have described the horrific torture, sexual humiliation, forced drugging, and religious persecution perpetrated by US forces against them on the facility’s grounds. A new report released by Amnesty International yesterday details the ongoing human rights violations in Guantánamo. According to the report, two of the 39 detainees are currently held at the site since its first working day on January 11, 2002. The rest have been held there for at least 12 years.

“This is more than just the 40 people still held at Guantánamo – it is also about crimes under international law committed over the past 19 years and the continued lack of accountability for them,” said Daphne Eviatar, Director of Security at Amnesty International USA. Human Rights said in a statement. “It’s about the future, too, as we advance toward the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and strive for lasting justice.”

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