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Sample Human Rights Champion City Resolution

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Your city or town (Sample)
January 1, 2099


Resolution Calling for Human Rights for Guantánamo Bay Prisoners
WHEREAS, the [Town/City/County] of _________ (something about commitment to justice/human rights)
WHEREAS, the standards of justice and human rights embodied in the U.S. Constitution and in international treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory are consistent with our country’s national security objectives; and
WHEREAS, Americans still regret the U.S. government’s unjust internment in 1942 of 120,000 innocent Japanese-Americans, whom it held based on fear, without evidence of wrongdoing or court oversight; and
WHEREAS, fear mongering about the men at Guantánamo Bay prison and a presumption of guilt have delayed government efforts to close the facility and to try its prisoners; and
WHEREAS, on January 22, 2009, President Obama has ordered that the prison at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base should be closed promptly to “further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice”; and
WHEREAS, in November 2009, 33 retired U.S. generals and admirals wrote in a letter to Congress that “continued detention of prisoners at Guantanamo provides our enemies with a powerful propaganda weapon which they are using to recruit forces against us”; and
WHEREAS, only 6 percent of the prisoners brought to Guantánamo Bay were captured by U.S. forces on the battlefield, while 86 percent were turned over to the U.S. military in exchange for bounties it offered; and
WHEREAS, no Guantánamo Bay prisoners had the benefit of competent battlefield tribunals required by the Fourth Geneva Convention to distinguish between innocent civilians and enemy fighters; and
WHEREAS, nearly eight years after the first of nearly 800 prisoners were brought to Guantánamo, nearly 600 former prisoners have already been released because there was insufficient evidence for holding them; and
WHEREAS, of the few hundred men who remain, only 19 have been charged with crimes, while more than 60 have been cleared for release because they pose no threat to the United States or its allies; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush (June 2008) that enemy combatants held in U.S. territory are entitled to the Writ of Habeas Corpus and may not be detained indefinitely without receiving fair hearings under civilian courts; and
WHEREAS, in 32 of the first 41 Habeas Corpus cases (78 percent) heard since the Boumediene ruling, federal judges have determined that the government had insufficient evidence to hold the men; and
WHEREAS, the Obama administration’s plan to continue holding dozens of men in indefinite detention, without charges or trials, violates the men’s constitutional rights to a speedy trial; and
WHEREAS, [Identify the detainee(s) on whose behalf your community is advocating]; and
WHEREAS, our federal court system is equipped to convict and punish perpetrators of terrorism-related crimes and has already successfully handled more than 135 terrorism prosecutions since the late 1980s;
NOW Therefore Be it resolved that [name of government body]:
1) Supports the Obama administration’s decision to close the Guantánamo Bay prison to enhance our national security and our nation’s record as a a champion of human rights and the rule of law;
2) Urges the President and Attorney General of the United States to comply with the U.S. Constitution by promptly charging [detainee(s) name(s)] with crimes and trying them in federal court or else returning them to their home countries;
3) Calls on Congress to outlaw rendition of suspects; and
4) Asks Congress to repeal the ban on releasing or imprisoning former Guantánamo detainees into the United States;
And be it further resolved that copies of this Resolution be sent to the President and Attorney General of the United States, the United States Senators for [state], and the United States Representative for [state]’s [number?] District(s).