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Families of Kuwaitis Detained by U.S. Government Launch Effort to Win Legal Rights for Loved Ones

“Yellow Ribbon” Campaign to Highlight Bush Administration’s Refusal to Honor June 2004 Supreme Court Decision

Kuwait City, October 14, 2004 – Almost 100 family members of the 12 Kuwaiti men illegally detained by the U.S. Government at Guantanamo Bay today launched an international effort to encourage the Bush Administration to abide by a series of rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and give these men their day in court.

As of today, the Kuwaiti detainees have been held incommunicado for 1006 days without any access to even the most fundamental legal rights. Their detention stands at odds with a June 2004 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. government’s war on terror does not deprive the individual liberties of those imprisoned.

In a show of strength and solidarity with their families, and on the day before Ramadan, the nearly 100 mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters of the 12 detainees staged a demonstration in the country’s capital, Kuwait City. Adorned in yellow ribbons symbolizing the prolonged detention of their sons, brothers, and husbands, the assembled family members pleaded for justice.

“These yellow ribbons signify hope,” said Khalid Al-Odah, father of detainee Fawzi Al-Odah, and head of the Kuwaiti Family Committee. “Our families are not the same without these men. Instead of just holding them unjustly, day after day, week after week, we urge the U.S. government to give them a fair trial and let their cases be heard.”

In addition to yellow ribbons, family members carried photos of their loved ones, along with posters of U.S. and Kuwaiti flags. Many of the children wore T-shirts bearing photos of their fathers.

The Kuwaiti Family Committee is committed to attaining justice for the detainees. In mid-September, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that one of the Kuwaiti detainees would soon be released to the custody of Kuwait. So far, however, the U.S. government has not identified that individual or committed to a date for his release.

This press release is distributed by Levick Strategic Communications on behalf of the International Counsel Bureau. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.


Kuwaiti Family Committee Contact:
Khalid Al-Odah
Tel. (Kuwait) 011-965-905-6115

U.S. News Media Coordinator
Gene Grabowski
Tel. 202-973-1351

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