March Newsletter: Join us in Cleveland, No Seperate Justice, Open letter to John Kerry

  Dear Friends, Witness Against Torture continues to engage in the work of our home communities: building connections and widening the circle. Currently, we are busy preparing for our annual planning meeting and retreat for the weekend of April 10th. … Continue reading

Open letter to John Kerry from Helen Schietinger and Jeremy Varon

12 March 2015 Dear Secretary Kerry, I am Helen Schietinger, the woman who was arrested while speaking to you from the audience at the March 11th Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on possible revisions to the Authorization of the Use … Continue reading

February Newsletter: Protest at Senate Hearing , Friday Fast for Justice, April Retreat

  Dear Friends, The work of Witness Against Torture continues. Below, you will find a link to a reflection on a WAT protest at a US Senate hearing, as well as an invitation to join our Friday Fast for Justice.  … Continue reading

A Brief History of the Friday Fast for Justice


This kind [of unclean spirit] can be driven out only by prayer and fasting.                                                     … Continue reading

An Open Letter to John McCain

Detainee Boots

Senator John McCain 241 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC, 20510 Dear Senator McCain, I am the woman who spoke out in the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the status of the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay on February … Continue reading

Shaker Aamer

Shaker Aamer is the last British legal resident in Guantánamo Bay. Born in Saudi Arabia in 1968, he moved to the US in his early 20s, then in 1991 went to London, where he worked as a translator with immigration cases. There he met his British wife, Zin, and settled down. A decade later, with their three children, and soon pregnant with a fourth, they moved to Afghanistan. Aamer’s father-in-law explains that they wanted “an Islamic atmosphere”. Then 9/11 happened and everything changed. Continue reading

Listen to Excerpts from Mohamedou Slahi’s New Book

Free Slahi

I’ve just finished reading Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s new book, Guantánamo Diary. It is the first book published by a still-detained Guantánamo detainee, and, as one might expect, it is a harrowing read. However, the pages are also full of humor, compassion, and forgiveness, which is somewhat shocking coming from someone who has suffered as much abuse as Slahi has. It seems to perfectly capture the circuitous nature of interrogation of an entire decade and the no-win situations detainees were placed in over and over again, despite any evidence against them. It’s well worth the read, and I encourage you to both purchase it and sign the petition to free its author right away. Below are some excerpts read by Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit, Sherlock, The Imitation Game), Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta, narrator of the Harry Potter book series), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Pride and Prejudice), and Dominic West (The Wire, The Affair), who narrates an 8-minute documentary about the book’s creation. Continue reading

Inside the Uniform, Under the Hood, Longing for Change


From January 4 – 12, 2015, Witness Against Torture (WAT) activists assembled in Washington D.C. for an annual time of fasting and public witness to end the United States’ use of torture and indefinite detention and to demand the closure, with immediate freedom for those long cleared for release, of the illegal U.S. prison at Guantanamo. Continue reading

January Newsletter: Fast for Justice Review


  In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” –Martin Luther King Jr.   Witness Against Torture has returned home from our annual Fast For Justice in Washington, D.C. We … Continue reading

Daily Update – Day 8 of the Fast for Justice


Dear Friends, A powerful day of action! Please see our press release below, press coverage in Roll Call and the Washington Post, as well as a more detailed overview of the day. And look through and share these powerful images. … Continue reading