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Amnesty Protest for President Obama’s visit to Brussels

© AI Switzerland

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

MEDIA ADVISORY

Amnesty Protest for President Obama’s visit to Brussels

(24 March 2014) On 25 March, the eve of the EU-US Summit in Brussels, Amnesty International will hold a protest to send a firm message to the United States (US) - ‘Yes, you can’ respect human rights!

The EU-US Summit represents a crucial opportunity for both sides to uphold their founding principles of human rights and democracy; and to ensure human rights are at the centre of their cooperation.

In order to ensure credibility in the field of human rights, at home and abroad, both sides must take a long hard look at and openly and firmly address human rights concerns within their own and their counterparts’ territories. The relationship between the two continents must not lead to either side turning a blind eye to human rights violations. Any existing abuses must be addressed, and accountability guaranteed.

Amnesty International is urging EU and US to engage on closing Guantanamo during the forthcoming summit, in line with their landmark joint statement on the closure of Guantanamo in 2009. Amnesty International also calls on EU member states to conduct full and impartial human rights-compliant inquiries into allegations of violations that have occurred on EU soil, including in Poland, Lithuania and Romania, as part of the US-led rendition and secret detention programmes operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Only by upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law at home, can the EU and US credibly play their roles as human rights actors on the world stage, including in Syria, Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Amnesty International supporters and activists will gather dressed in orange uniforms similar to those of Guantanamo detainees. They will call on President Barack Obama to:

- finally meet his 22 January 2010 commitment to close Guantanamo detention centre, which to date, still holds 154 prisoners

- ensure transparency and necessary accountability regarding the use of armed drones, especially in Pakistan, where the US is responsible for unlawful killings during drone attacks which targeted civilians

- end the use of the death penalty at federal level

When ? Tuesday 25 March 11 :30 – 13 :30. Press briefing at 11 :30

Where ? At the Schuman Freedom of Expression Zone (Rue de la Loi, between Schuman roundabout and the Parc du Cinquantenaire)

A petition on the closure of Guantanamo will be available for the public to sign. 

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Valérie Michaux
0477/89.24.70
vmichaux@amnesty.be