What we heard in Yemen

June 20, 2013

Dear Activist,

During our delegation to Yemen this week, we met Awda, a sweet 12 year old who has never seen her father. Awda was in her mother's womb in 2001 when her dad, Abdulrahman Al Shabati, traveled to Pakistan to earn extra money as a teacher and was kidnapped and sent to Guantanamo Prison.

In Arabic, Awda's name means “come back.” Please take a moment to help Awda bring her dad back from Guantanamo. He is one of the 86 prisoners cleared for release but still being held, and one of the many hunger strikers whose lives are at risk.

This week, President Obama appointed Clifford Sloan to reopen the State Department's Office of Guantanamo Closure. Let's tell Mr. Sloan that there's no time to wait. The families we met in Yemen are desperate. Awda needs to see her father, and Amal hasn't seen her son since he was 17. Ameena says her brother is so weak from the hunger strike that he looks like a skeleton with sunken eyes and a big, inflated nose from where the feeding tube is forced down his nostrils.

On June 26 we'll be out in front of the White House, 86 of us representing the 86 cleared prisoners. With us will be Diane Wilson, a CODEPINK cofounder who has been on a water-only hunger strike since May 1 in solidarity with the prisoners. Join us if you can, or show your support by sending a message to Clifford Sloan that this is an emergency and he must begin transferring the prisoners immeditely. It took a dramatic hunger strike to call the world's attention to the plight of these abused prisoners. Let's not wait until the tragic death of a hunger striker to force President Obama to move from words to action.


Ann, Jodie, Medea, and Tighe

P.S. Our delegation to Yemen came back with many personal stories from Guantanamo families and families affected by US drone attacks. If you'd like to organize a report-back event in your community, email Natalie@codepink.org.

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