Protesters wearing orange jumpsuits and bags over their heads rallied outside of the White House Sunday to protest Guantanamo Bay on the 13th anniversary of the first prisoners arriving at the detention facility.
"We are not here to make angels out of prisoners. We don't know them. But we know they are men," said one protester. Many of the protesters were from the human rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Others were from Amnesty International, which published an article on their website Saturday appealing for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. "If an abusive regime was responsible for a place of injustice like Guantanamo, it would surely draw U.S. condemnation. It’s long past time for the U.S. authorities to end the double-speak — and the double standard," the article said.
"Mr. President I need you to know, that if it were you, hooded and chained, we'd be right here demanding the same human rights for you," a protester stated while marching. President Barack Obama has said his goal is to close the facility before he leaves office but faces challenges from Congress.
The U.S. government moved 28 prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay in 2014, and 127 detainees remain.
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— Elisha Fieldstadt