Amnesty International Launches National Tour of Guantanamo Cell Replica

Tour Aims to Increase Public Awareness and Mount Pressure on the Bush Administration to Close Detention Facility, Says Human Rights Group

MIAMI , May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) launched its national tour of a life-size Guantanamo prison cell replica in Miami to increase public awareness and mount pressure on the Bush administration to close down the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba .

AIUSA members and other activists gathered at the Tina Hills Pavilion in Miami's Bayfront Park to experience the cell and show their support for the immediate closure of this prison facility. Many participants, dressed in Guantanamo-style orange boiler-suits, held signs urging the U.S. government to stop the torture, end indefinite detentions without charge or trial and shut down Guantanamo.

"Standing inside the constricting Guantanamo cell replica, I could not believe that the U.S. government considers this -- solitary confinement, stress positions, lack of habeas corpus and indefinite detention -- appropriate justice," said Larry Cox , AIUSA executive director, who spoke at the event. "At a time when Americans are clamoring for an end to terror, the Bush administration looks for ways to expand its powers through dubious legal lingo and continue its unlawful assault on the rule of law. When Americans want justice for specific crimes, we get arbitrary human sacrifice."

The cell is an exact replica which includes a steel toilet, florescent lights, frosted windows and a sliding metal door. In addition, visitors may record a 30-second reaction video that will be posted on and as well as sign the global petition to shut Guantanamo down.

Americans across the nation will have an opportunity to obtain a tangible glimpse into the life of a Guantanamo detainee and have their voice heard in denouncing the Bush administration's unlawful policies carried out in the name of national security. Upcoming stops along the tour include Philadelphia , Portland, ME , and Washington, DC .

Other speakers at the event included Neal Sonnet, chair of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Treatment of Enemy Combatants and an observer of the Guantanamo military commission trials and Howard Simon , executive director for the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Miami Unsigned has been an instrumental partner with Amnesty International for today's launch logistics.

On Saturday, May 10 , Amnesty International will present Counter Terror with Justice JAMNESTY, a concert from 1 to 8 p.m. , highlighting some of Miami's prominent independent artists including the Cornerstones, Rachel Goodrich , Renee Fiallos , Brimstone, Lox the Rippa and the Miami Beach Capoiera.

Five former U.S. Secretaries of State who served both Republican and Democratic presidents -- Madeline Albright , James Baker , Warren Christopher , Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell -- concurred at a recent University of Georgia roundtable discussion that closing the detention facility is important to bolstering the United States' image abroad. Even the former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay Colonel Morris Davis denounced the use of torture-tainted evidence in detainee trials. President Bush said he'd "like Guantanamo to end."

" Guantanamo Bay continues to be the shameful global icon of this administration's outright disregard for basic human dignity and the rule of law," said Cox. "By assaulting core American values including the right to challenge one's incarceration and allowing techniques long associated with dictators and despots, President Bush has squandered the United States' moral leadership around the world. It's time to remove the ugly blot on the America we believe in and shut down Guantanamo."

SOURCE Amnesty International