FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(In Yemen) Medea Benjamin 734 290 464, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tighe Barry 734 359 836
(in US) Rooj Alwazir, CODEPINK Yemen Coordinator, (240) 476-7724, Rooj129@gmail.com
June 14, 2013
US Peace Delegation in Yemen and Families of Guantanamo Prisoners hold vigil at US Embassy demanding release
Sanaa, Yemen—At 10am on Monday, June 17, a visiting US delegation organized by the peace group CODEPINK will join families with loved ones in Guantanamo prison for a vigil outside the US Embassy in Sanaa. Motivated by the dire life-and-death condition of prisoners who have been on a hunger strike since February 6, they will demand that the 56 Yemeni prisoners cleared for release be released immediately, and that the others have speedy and fair trials.
“It took a dramatic hunger strike to call the world's attention to the plight of these abused prisoners, most of whom have been held for over 11 years with no charges,” said Terry Rockefeller, a member of September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows whose sister died during the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. “Will it take the tragic death of a hunger striker for President Obama to move from words to action?”
This past week, the US delegates heard heart-breaking stories from the Yemeni families. Working with the Yemeni NGO Hood, they decided to organize the first ever Yemeni-American vigil in Sanaa. The Yemeni families will bring letters to US Ambassador Feierstein explaining their plight. The American delegation will be fasting in solidarity with the prisoners. They will have banners, photos of the prisoners and some people will be dressed in orange jumpsuits.
“I spoke out during President Obama's May 23 speech, asking him why he refuses to release the 86 cleared prisoners,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “Weeks later, the prisoners' health continues to deteriorate but we still have no action from President Obama. That's just unacceptable.”